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Final Roster Predictions
Updated 08-20-02
A flurry of offensive line predictions is already starting, and of course, I joined in with my two cents. Never mind that we just started pre-season. But hey, it's all in good fun, right? That being said, I thought I'd list my final roster predictions. I actually started this a few weeks back, and I'm a little surprised that not that much as changed. Anyway, let's get started.

At the QB position, it should be pretty cut and dried. Jay Fiedler will start, with Ray Lucas backing him up. At the 3rd string spot, I think everyone is expecting Tim Levcik to win out, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't. Of course, signing a surprise, final roster cut to play the 3rd string QB is a possibility as well.

Ricky Williams is obviously the starter. But I tend to think that Miami will end up keeping 6 runningbacks. Travis Minor will probably find himself involved more if special teams, while Leonard Henry will actually back up Ricky. I had really hoped that Robert Edwards would make the team. But if he can't shake the injury bug, I think he'll be gone. Rob Konrad should start at FB, and Dyer will back him up. Even though Konrad is the FB better suited to Turner's offense, you can always use a FB like Dyer in short yardage situations. Orginally, I thought that Obafemi Ayanbadejo would be little more than training camp fodder. But if Edwards is gone, that might be enough to squeeze him onto the final roster.

Chris Chambers and Oronde Gadsden are virtual locks to start, with Dedric Ward winning the 3rd receiver spot. The super fast but inconsistent James McKnight will drop down to the 4th receiver spot. With the Dolphins possibly looking to trade Jeff Ogden, I think that Robert Baker will finally make the team as the 5th receiver. Should Miami decide to keep 6 receivers, I think that Albert Johnson will take the 6th spot, and Sam Simmons will end up on the practice squad.

Randy McMichael is proving me wrong as he has pretty much won the starting job. Jed Weaver will back him up and Ed Perry will make the squad solely as a long snapper. This means that Mr. Alonzo Mayes will be gone.

The Dolphins have moved Mark Dixon to LT, and it will probably be a permanent thing. Brent Smith could be headed for the trading block, but more than likely, he will simply be cut. I think Marcus Spriggs might be kept as a backup, but the Dolphins will need to find a replacement for him next season. (If not sooner.) Jamie Nails has played well enough to start at LG, and Anthony Cesario could be the backup. Tim Ruddy will start at center with Seth McKinney backing him up. Todd Perry has beaten out Leon Searcy at RG so far, but both will make the team. Todd Wade will continue to anchor the RT spot.

There is some worry about our defensive line. Jason Taylor and Tim Bowens are locks at their respective positions. Larry Chester will also start at DT if he can remain healthy. I think that Jermaine Haley and Henry Taylor will be the backups. Ernest Grant is supposedly be shopped in a potential trade, so I didn't list him here.

At the DE position, Taylor is a lock like I mentioned earlier. I think that Jay Williams, Rob Burnett, and David Bowens will all rotate at the other end. Adewale Ogunleye has shown enough in camp and preseason to warrant a backup spot.

This was one position that I've said was weak as far as depth was concerned. And it still is in my opinion. Zach Thomas anchors the middle LB spot, and Derrick Rodgers and Morlon Greenwood round out the starters. Twan Russell and Tommy Hendricks will probably make it due to special teams ability, leaving one more spot open. Justin Seaverns and Joshua Symonette are battling for the last roster spot. I give the nod to Seaverns because he was the one who started in place of the sick Zach Thomas last Thursday.

Madison? Yup. Surtain? Of course. Fletcher? Yes. Those 3 are certain. I look for Ray Green and Omar Lowe to battle it down to the wire, with Lowe winning out. At the safety positions, Marion and Freeman are in. I think that Wooden will make it due to his experience. Rounding out the position will be Trent Gamble and Scott McGarrahan, both of him will make their mark on special teams.

So what is my final tally? Here is my breakdown.

QBs (3) - Fiedler, Lucas, Levcik

RB/FB (6) - Williams, Minor, Henry, Konrad, Dyer, Ayanbadejo

*WR (6) - Chambers, Gadsden, Ward, McKnight, Baker, Johnson

TE (3) - McMichaels, Weaver, Perry

*OG (4) - Perry, Searcy, Nails, Cesario

OT (3) - Dixon, Wade, Spriggs

OC (2) - Ruddy, McKinney

DT (4) - T. Bowens, Chester, Haley, H. Taylor

DE (5) - J. Taylor, Williams, Burnett, D. Bowens, Ogunleye

LB (6) - Thomas, Rogers, Greenwood, Russell, Hendricks, Seaverns
CB (4) - Madison, Surtain, Fletcher, Lowe

S (5) - Marion, Freeman, Wooden, Gamble, McGarrahan

ST (2) - Mare, Royals (I didn't list these earlier because they are obvious.)

* - Should the Dolphins decide to keep an additional OL, I think it will come at the expence of the receiver position, in which case Albert Johnson won't make it.

--James Lancaster