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News » Dolphins depth chart...AFTER draft

Dolphins depth chart...AFTER draft

Dolphins depth chart...AFTER draft
Apr. 28, 2009 (Sun Sentinel delivered by Newstex ) --

Has anyone else noticed that the Miami Dolphins have been doubling-down on positions in the draft.

When the Trifecta wanted to address the glaring hole they left at guard heading into the 2008 draft they selected Shawn Murphy and Donald Thomas, had them throw down against one another, and invested in the winner, which happened to be the Thomas, the lower pick.

When they wanted to restock the defensive line they not only drafted Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford in the second and third round of the 2008 draft, but they threw in Lionel Dotson for a little insurance. Who performed the best? It was Langford, who immediately won a starting spot he held all season.

Need a little tailback insurance? Take Jalen Parmele and Lex Hilliard in the late rounds. If one works out great. The jury is still out on Hilliard, and Parmele's presently with the Ravens, who claimed him off the practice squad last season.

This?draft the same approach was used on two critical needs: cornerback and receiver.

Cornerback draftees Vontae Davis and Sean Smith will compete against one another (and other veterans)?for?a role in the four-man rotation that's used in the nickel and dime packages.?

The same goes for Patrick Turner and Brian Hartline, who will be duking it out for playing time, and a possible roster spot at receiver.

Who will win in those battles? Just like what happened with Langford and Thomas. It was the underdogs, which clearly pushed themselves?harder. The Trifecta couldn't care less as long as the job gets done, but don't think it was a coincidence.

If the trend holds we could be looking at Smith and Hartline being the immediate standouts.

To help you get a better look at the brewing battles I've updated my Dolphins depth chart, giving?The Mob?a post draft look at?what's shaping up?as the?training camp roster. Hold tight for the defense.


QB - Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Pat White (R)

Pat White's addition meant John Beck got the boot, released on Tuesday in a surprisingly generous move by the Trifecta. If possible the Dolphins will add a fourth quarterback to run the practice squad because if White's Wildcating it with the starters who is running the scout team, helping the defense get prepared?

RB - Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Patrick Cobbs, Lex Hilliard

Brown and Williams are both capable starters, and former Pro Bowlers. Cobbs is a good utility back and dynamic?special teamer, but I'd be shocked if he's anything more. The Dolphins need someone young to push Hilliard for his practice squad spot. Last year five tailbacks were brought to training camp and I expect the Dolphins to possible add one more rookie free agent.

FB - Lousaka Polite, Chris Brown

Polite was one of the more pleasant waiver wire surprises last season, but the Dolphins could use a better lead blocker. But maybe the improved offensive line will allow him to blossom. Brown is a converted tight end who is still learning the position. His upside is unknown.

WR - Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon London, Patrick Turner (R),?Ernest Wilford, Todd Lowber

WR - Greg Camarillo (injured), Davone Bess, Brian Hartline (R),?Anthony Armstrong

Considering how crowded this group is it's realistic to think six could end up on the 53-man roster. Which six likely depends on who outperforms who. There's a possibility Camarillo, who had his ACL tear surgically repaired in late December, could begin the season on the PUP list, which would buy the Dolphins some time. If he's not ready to compete in training camp it's possible he could spend the season on the IR. After the draftees, all other newcomers would realistically be competing with Armstrong and Lowber for a practice squad spot unless they tear it up during training camp like Bess did.

TE - Anthony Fasano, David Martin, Joey Haynos, John Nalbone, Jared Bronson?

All three of the returning tight ends will be free agents in 2010, which explains why Nalbone was drafted. He's known as a pass catching specialist, but has decent size (6-4, 255 pounds) to him. But Haynos, a rookie last season, is a year ahead of the fifth-round pick. If the Dolphins keep six receivers the roster might be limited to two tight ends on the active, and maybe two on the practice squad.

LT - Jake Long, Andrew Gardner (R)

RT -?Vernon Carey, Brandon Frye, Nate Garner

Vernon Carey?was the?more realistic backup to Jake Long at left tackle before Gardner, a four year starter at that spot, was selected in the sixth-round. But Gardner is coming off a shoulder injury that's prevented him from lifting weights for months, so it might take him months to regain the strength that made him an effective run blocker at Georgia Tech. Frye played right tackle at Virginia Tech, but has primarily worked as a guard in his two NFL seasons. Garner spent most of last season on and off the practice squad. The Dolphins will keep at least three tackles, and maybe one on the practice squad.

LG - Justin Smiley (injured), Shawn Murphy

RG - Donald Thomas, Joe Berger, Ikechuku Ndukwe

When healthy Smiley was the Dolphins' most effective offensive lineman, so his healthy return is significant to the running game. Thomas showed a lot of promise last season in the five (four preseason and one regular season) games he started for the Dolphins . Berger was added as a free agent this offseason for his versatility. I hear he can play center, guard and tackle in a pinch. Ndukwe, who started 16 games last season on an injury depleted offensive line, smoked Murphy last, and?Iwouldn't expect anything less. Considering Andy Alleman can also play guard it's likely that only four guards will be kept on the 53-man roster. Because Murphy didn't play at all last year he's eligible to be stashed on the practice squad. But the former fourth-round pick would have to earn that spot, and clear waivers to get there.

C - Jake Grove, Andy Alleman

Grove, one of the Dolphins' more expensive free agent signings this offseason, is a major upgrade over Samson Satele. But?Grove has?only played a full 16-game season one time in his career, so?having a?quality backup?is important.?Alleman hadn't played center till last season and is more of a natural guard. Maybe Berger will also work at center.

So, what's your biggest concern about the Dolphins offensive depth chart after seeing how players stack up following the draft?

And what battles excite you the most?

Newstex ID: FL-2093-34492139

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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Aaron Walker Name: Aaron Walker
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