In most cases, the Dolphins aren’t utilizing camp position battles to determine starting roles. But as the deadline to cut the roster down to 53 players draws nearer and nearer, decisions have to be made throughout the roster. Here’s a look at who’s battling for a roster spot as the preseason continues, thanks to some helpful analysis from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
- At quarterback, the starter is set, but the backup job may be closer than you’d think. Miami signed quarterback Mike White in the first hour of free agency, making it seem like they were dead set on him taking over at QB2. Last year’s backup, Skylar Thompson, doesn’t seem willing to go down without a fight, though, making the battle more competitive than some would assume. White is the presumed winner of this position battle, but if Thompson has a stellar preseason, he has a chance to surprise.
- After failing to sign free agent running back Dalvin Cook, the room is shaping up to hold Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and third-round rookie De’Von Achane, at the very least. If the team is going to open up a fourth roster spot for the position, it’s likely that one of Myles Gaskin or Salvon Ahmed will fill the role while the other will be on the chopping block, if not both. The Dolphins will have to determine if a fourth running back will help the team, and if not, Gaskin or Ahmed’s time in South Beach may be over.
- Behind the team’s top two wideouts, there are a number of options to plug in. According to Jackson, AFC East mainstay Braxton Berrios seems to be taking direction from wide receivers coach Wes Welker well, giving him an edge on the depth chart. He’s competing with Cedrick Wilson, Erik Ezukanma, and Chosen Anderson for the WR3 role, and seems to have a handle on it. Anderson has been making up for a slow start to camp lately but may need to compete with River Cracraft if the team only decides to keep six wide receivers.
- At tight end, the battle for the third tight spot poses the most intrigue, assuming the team only takes three tight ends. The starter, Durham Smythe, and the rookie, Elijah Higgins, are likely to make the roster, leaving backups Eric Saubert and Tyler Kroft fighting for what is likely going to be the final roster spot at the position. Neither is much of a factor in the passing game, so whoever shows the best blocking ability throughout the rest of camp may be rewarded the short-term job security.
- The biggest battle on the line is the battle for the starting left guard spot. Liam Eichenberg and Isaiah Wynn appear to be in a dead heat for the job, according to Jackson. Wynn has more NFL starting experience, but Eichenberg is more familiar with the franchise. Aside from that, the other big battle is for the swing tackle role. Veteran and former starter Kendall Lamm reportedly has established a lead over Cedric Ogbuehi for the job. Seventh-round rookie Ryan Hayes could also contribute to the team depth at the position if he makes the roster.