- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Miami Dolphins have three preseason games in the books and it’s almost time for roster cuts.
Last week we provided our first 53-man roster projection for the Dolphins. But there have been some changes, including a key injury to starting tight end Dustin Keller (knee) and the release of cornerback Richard Marshall.
Here is our 2.0 version of where Miami’s roster currently stands:
Analysis: Same group as last week. The only question here will be whether Miami decides to keep two or three quarterbacks.
Analysis: I think there’s space now to keep four tailbacks. Miller and Thomas are locks. Gillislee is a rookie draft pick and Gray may be a risk for the practice squad.
Fullback (1): Evan Rodriguez
Analysis: Rodriguez is more versatile and that could be the difference in beating out Jorvorskie Lane. Rodriguez also adds value on special teams.
Analysis: McNutt has had a good week of practice and his size puts him ahead of Chad Bumphis, who is only a slot option. Thigpen is stashed here because of his versatility and the Dolphins have enough running backs.
Analysis: Keller’s season-ending knee injury changes the entire dynamic of this group. Clay is now mostly a full-time tight end and the projected starter. Egnew’s roster spot also is safe after previously being on the bubble.
Analysis: The Dolphins need a lot of players here to guard against injury. Samuda and Garner bring a lot of versatility as backups. Louis is the last lineman in and needs to a little show more.
Analysis: This is the deepest area of the team. A.J. Francis also is making a hard push, but I’m not ready to put him on the 53-man roster just yet. Ten defensive linemen is a bit much.
Analysis: Two or three backup spots are still open with two preseason games remaining. Trusnik brings a lot of value to special teams, and the Dolphins are looking for more of that.
Analysis: Cutting Marshall impacts the depth at cornerback. But that also opens up another roster spot, and I’m not sure Miami has another corner worthy of the 53-man roster.
Analysis: This group won’t change, barring an injury.
Last five in: Rodriguez, Louis, Jenkins, Spitler, Gray
Overview: Miami's roster is taking shape. Barring injuries, I do not expect a lot of change between now and cut day on Aug. 31st. Still, Saturday's fourth preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be important for Miami’s bubble players.