By Christian Chappell and Kayla Morton
The Miami Dolphins made all the necessary cuts by late Saturday to finalize their 2020 53-man roster.
Last year Miami’s average age was 25.2-years-old, the youngest in the NFL, and this year the team got even younger with an average age of exactly 25-years-old.
Miami Rolls With Just Two QBs on Active Roster
Most teams around the league will usually find enough roster space for up to three quarterbacks, but the Dolphins found no use for that as they trimmed down to two QBs Friday night with the release of 23-year old Josh Rosen.
Though Rosen was only coming up on his third season, the team must have found more solace in the QB combination of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and the rookie Tua Tagovailoa. Reason being that Fitzpatrick was responsible for all of the Dolphins’ wins last season, and the lefty, Tagovailoa, had the highest college career passer rating in NCAA history with 199.4. Tagovailoa became the highest selected quarterback by the Dolphins since 1967.
Dolphins Keep Four Backs, Two Versatile Players
The team also attempted to trade away running back Kalen Ballage to their AFC East rival, the New York Jets, but the trade became void when Ballage reportedly failed his physical. Ballage then reverted to the Dolphins and was released.
Miami appears to be much happier with their offseason acquisitions of Jordan Howard and Matt Brieda that it got via free agency signing and a draft-day trade. The Dolphins still have two solely RBs on their roster in Myles Gaskin and Patrick Laird, as well as recent versatile draftee Malcolm Perry who can play QB, RB and wide receiver.
Miami’s backfield moves speak to its desperate need of finding a new RB after trading away Kenyan Drake before the trade deadline last season and Ballage’s NFL-worst 1.8 yards per carry last season.
Parker, Williams, Ford to Start at Wide Receiver
With WRs Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opting out for the Dolphins due to COVID-19, the team’s starting WRs for the season will be DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Isaiah Ford in that order. Miami will also have Jakeem Grant, Mack Hollins and the rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. who it traded for on Saturday in the wings.
Grant, Perry, Bowden Jr.: Team Wild Cards
“The Cheetah” Grant will likely be primarily used as a special team returns man again and Bowden Jr. will pop outside as a WR option, though is qualified to play the same positions as Perry and Grant. Bowden Jr. also won the Paul Hornung most versatile college player award in 2019.
Mike Gesicki Headlines Tight End Room
Dolphins Put Two Rookies on Offensive Line
For offensive line, two rookies will get the start at both the left tackle and right guard positions in Austin Jackson and Solomon Kindley respectively. Additionally, Ereck Flowers will start at left guard, Ted Karras will start at center and Jesse Davis will start at right tackle ahead of rookie Robert Hunt.
2020 Secondary Features Touted Veterans
On defense, with the addition of cornerback Byron Jones this past offseason, CB Xavien Howard will have some assistance opposite him in the secondary. The team also acquired defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson over the offseason and a number of linebackers to assist returning Ohio State man Jerome Baker, with Kyle Van Noy the most notable of the bunch.
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Diverse Secondary Provides Many Options
Beside Van Noy, Ogbah, Howard and Jones, LBs Kamu Grugier-Hill and Elandon Roberts also got starting nods. CB Noah Igbinoghene will back up Jones, CB Jamal Perry will back up Howard, Lawson will back up Van Noy, Baker will back up Roberts, LB Calvin Munson will back up Gruiger-Hill and LB Andrew Van Ginkel will back up Ogbah.
In the three-CB option however, Igbinoghene will be featured as the nickel back and will start at the position in those sets. He will only back up Jones when Miami moves to a two-CB set. Veteran Bobby McCain will back up Igbinoghene in the NB role.
Familiar Faces Start at Safety, Tackle, But Many New Faces Provide Depth
Strong safety Eric Rowe earned the starting nod for the second year in a row and will be backed up by free agent signee from the Dallas Cowboys, Kavon Frazier. Frazier is also reported to have a top special teams role with Miami.
Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux will start at nose tackle and be backed up by rookie Raekwon Davis. Additionally, Zach Sieler, a waiver from the Baltimore Ravens, will start at left defensive end with rookie Jason Strawbridge as his backup.
Finally, Clayton Fejedelem made the team as a depth free safety that will also have a primary role in special teams like Frazier. Additionally, defensive end Christian Wilkins will start again in his second year.
Other Team News
Miami listed the following players on its practice squad:
QB Jake Rudock
RB Salvon Ahmed
WRs Antonio Callaway, Kirk Merritt and Matt Cole
TE Chris Myarick
OL Jonathan Hubbard, Durval Queiroz Neto
DL Tyshun Render, Benito Jones and Nick Coe
LB Kylan Johnson
CB Tae Hayes, Javaris Davis and Ken Webster
S Nate Holley, Brian Cole
Team Captains Also Announced
Furthermore, Miami named the following players team captains based on player voting:
Offense: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ted Karras, Jess Davis
Defense: Bobby McCain, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts
Special Teams: Kavon Frazier, Clayton Fejedelem
The Dolphins will travel to take on the New England Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday at 1 p.m. eastern.
Editor’s Note: Lynn Bodwen Jr., Jamal Perry and Jason Strawbridge do not have a player profile on profootballreference.com, the site FPC Dolphins uses to highlight players. In addition, those players on the practice squad, outside of returning QB Jake Rudock, were not tagged for similar reasons.