Roster Breakdown: Initial Dolphins 53-Player Roster

The Dolphins’ initial 53-player roster, reached after a series of transactions Saturday afternoon, ended up heavy at a couple of positions on offense.

While there could be changes to this roster after the NFL claiming period ends Sunday at noon, we break down the Dolphins’ initial 53-man group:

Quarterbacks

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On the roster (2): Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen

Removed from the roster: Jake Rudock

Breakdown: It’s pretty common for NFL teams to keep two quarterbacks, so the release of Rudock shouldn’t have been seen as a huge surprise, even after he made a strong case for himself with his impressive performance in the preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints. Fitzpatrick and Rosen pretty much were seen as locks after battling all summer for the starting job.

Running backs

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On the roster (6): Kalen Ballage, Chandler Cox, Kenyan Drake, Myles Gaskin, Patrick Laird, Mark Walton,

Removed from the roster: Kenneth Farrow

Breakdown: This is one of those surprising positions, not because of any of the players kept per se, but rather because six is an unusually high number of running backs on any 53-man roster. While Gaskin and Cox were rookie draft picks, Laird did enough as a rookie free agent this summer to earn a spot in the initial 53-man roster.

Wide receivers

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On the roster (6): Jakeem Grant, Allen Hurns, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Preston Williams, Albert Wilson

Removed from the roster: Reece Horn, Trenton Irwin, Isaiah Ford, Brice Butler, T.J. Rahming

Breakdown: This no doubt had to be one of the toughest groups to pare down, even with the Dolphins keeping six at the position, which also is a high number. The biggest story at this position has to be Williams earning a roster spot as a rookie free agent.

Tight ends

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On the roster (4): Mike Gesicki, Nick O’Leary, Chris Myarick, Durham Smythe

Removed from the roster: Dwayne Allen

Breakdown: Again, four is on the high side when it comes to this position, and the presence of Myarick on the initial 53-man roster could be seen as a bit of a surprise, though he looked awfully impressive in the preseason finale. Allen was released with an injury settlement after being limited for most of the summer.

Offensive lineman

On the roster (10): Evan Boehm, Shaq Calhoun, Jesse Davis, Michael Deiter, Danny Isidora, Daniel Kilgore, Isaiah Prince, Chris Reed, Zach Sterup, Laremy Tunsil

Removed from the roster: Kyle Fuller, Aaron Monteiro, Tony Adams, Michael Dunn, Jaryd Jones-Smith

Breakdown: The Dolphins actually began shaping their offensive line Friday when they made two trades to acquire Boehm from Indianapolis and Isidora from Minnesota. Calhoun is another rookie free agent able to make the initial 53-man roster.

Defensive linemen

On the roster (7): Davon Godchaux, Charles Harris, Jonathan Ledbetter, Nate Orchard, Vincent Taylor, Adolphus Washington, Christian Wilkins

Removed from the roster: Cory Thomas, Tyrone Holmes, Jamiyus Pittman, Durval Queiroz Neto, Dewayne Hendrix, Joey Mbu, Tank Carradine

Breakdown: Seven defensive linemen is a bit on the low side for teams that employ a pure 4-3 scheme, but this doesn’t apply here since the Dolphins are expected to feature multiple looks and alignements. Perhaps the biggest story here was the Dolphins keeping rookie free agent Jonathan Ledbetter instead of Tank Carradine, a former second-round pick of the 49ers who lined up with the starting defense for most of the preseason.

Linebackers

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On the roster (6): Kiko Alonso, Jerome Baker, Sam Eguavoen, Terrill Hanks, Raekwon McMillan, Andrew Van Ginkel

Removed from the roster: Terrance Smith, Tre’ Watson, Quentin Poling, Nick DeLuca

Breakdown: The big story here was Hanks getting the nod over another impressive rookie free agent, Watson.

Defensive backs

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On the roster (9): Walt Aikens, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Montre Hartage, Xavien Howard, Reshad Jones, Chris Lammons, Bobby McCain, Eric Rowe, Jomal Wiltz

Removed from the roster: Tyler Patmon, Maurice Smith, Cornell Armstrong, Jalen Davis, Nik Needham, David Rivers

Breakdown: There was a lot of competition between young players for spots at this position, and Hartage earned one of them as a rookie free agent. Lammons might have secured his spot with his brilliant special teams performance in the preseason game against Jacksonville.

Specialists

On the roster (3): John Denney, Matt Haack, Jason Sanders

Removed from the roster: Wesley Farnsworth

Breakdown: The Dolphins will go with their same trio from 2018 after the ageless John Denney held off a challenge from Farnsworth, the rookie free agent from Nevada.

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