Quarterback - There is no question at this point that the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins will be either David Garrard or Matt Moore as Ryan Tannehill has not received any significant work with the first team offense. Media opinions continue to be split regarding which quarterback is in the lead. Most fans want Matt Moore in large part because of his success last season, but that seems unlikely to factor into Joe Philbin’s final decision. I continue to believe that the Dolphins will only keep the winner of the Moore and Garrard competition and that the onus is on Moore to overcome Garrard. I have long believed that either Garrard or Moore will be cut for the purposes of streamlining the transition to Tannehill and avoiding controversial decisions if the chosen starter falters early. The lost man in many quarterback discussions is Pat Devlin. He turned a couple of heads early in camp when he was receiving Tannehill’s snaps during Tannehill’s two day holdout. I was personally impressed with Devlin during my training camp visit on Monday because of his poise and arm strength. I believe that the Dolphins want to hold on to Devlin whether that is on the practice squad or as the team’s third string quarterback so that he can be groomed to be Tannehill’s backup much like Matt Flynn had been for Aaron Rodgers.
Running Back - There was never any question that Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, and the recently drafted Lamar Miller would make the 53 man roster. One of the larger debates centered around Steve Slaton and whether or not he would make the 53 man roster. Slaton has received significant work with the first team offense and as a kick returner thus far in training camp. At this point it would be a surprise if he did not make the roster. I also believe that the Dolphins will keep Jerome Messam as he the most versatile and likely capable of playing fullback from time to time. All indications so far in camp is that the Dolphins will not keep a traditional fullback because the Dolphins’ base offense will be three wide receivers, one tight-end, and one halfback. The role of fullback is simply not that significant in Philbin’s west coast offense and players like Messam, Clay, and even Fasano can be used in goal line situations.
Wide Receiver - This position continues to be the most interesting at camp. At this point the Dolphins three starting wide receivers are Legadu Nannee, Chad Johnson, and Devone Bess as they work exclusively with the first team offense and all have been impressive. The real debate begins after those three players. Roberto Wallace and Julius Pruitt have created a lot of buzz during the first four days of training camp with their receiving skills. There versatility and ability to contribute on special teams is also notable. As of this moment it seems that they have the inside track to make the 53 man roster, and unlike the rookies wide receivers they are not eligible to make the practice squad. B.J. Cunningham, Rishard Matthews, and Jeff Fuller have all had flashes of promise but like most rookies are mired with inconsistency. In addition, none of the three have established themselves as valuable special teams players . I believe that the Dolphins will release them and attempt to sign all three to the teams practice squad. Brian Hartline continues to be unable to practice which has begun to raise some questions whether or not he will make the roster, but I think it is still safe to assume that he will make the 53 man roster. On the other hand, It is appearing less and less likely that Clyde Gates will make the 53 man roster. Gates’ kick return duties can easily be taken over by Miller and Slaton and the lack development in his route running will probably be the nail in his coffin.
Tight End - Charles Clay has been the most dynamic of the tight ends so far as he continues to make big plays day after day. His ability to line up at tight end, fullback, and wide receiver make him ideal for the Philbin’s west coast offense. In addition, Anthony Fasano is a lock to make the team. Amongst the other tight ends, Les Brown is receiving a lot of attention. His work ethic is being noticed by teammates and he had strong Day 4 where he connected with Tannehill for several catches including a TD in drills. I believe at this point Les Brown will make the Dolphins roster as they will not want to risk him getting signed by another team. Finally, I think the Dolphins will also keep Michael Egnew the immensely athletic rookie tight end from Missouri.
Offensive Line - There have been no significant developments on the offensive line. There was some speculation before camp started that Lyndon Murtha would challenge rookie Jonathon Martin for the starting RT spot, but now that seems unlikely. The guard position may contain the only real position battle in the group where newly signed Eric Steinbach will push Artis Hicks and Richie Incognito for their starting jobs. John Jerry appears to be fading fast from the competition and could be cut from the roster entirely.