Entering the 2017 NFL Season, the Miami Dolphins have plenty of decisions to make before the start of the season. With training camp and the preseason now just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how these on and off the field decisions are made and what effect they are likely to have on the short term future in Miami.
As it pertains to the team’s roster for the upcoming season, decisions are quickly looming with roster cuts and depth chart moves likely to come. Continuing our new series, we will take a look each day at a positional group on the Miami Dolphins roster and what the outlook appears to be as well as make our own predictions on how things will turn out.
Continuing our new series today, we will take a look at what the future holds for the Miami Dolphins at the defensive end position.
The Latest: Could Jon Gruden be eyeing a return to coaching
Around the NFL: Rams’ DT, Aaron Donald, noticeably abesnt from training camp
Fantasy Football: Fantasy Football 101 – Your basic guide to success
cover32 Rotisserie: On this week’s Periscope, Patrick Hatten breaks down the AFC East
Follow us on Twitter here
Starters: Andre Branch and Charles Harris
In a shocking turn of events, the Miami Dolphins once again attempt to make Cameron Wake a situational players on their defense. With Wake not an every down starter, the Dolphins will enter the season with Andre Branch and rookie Charles Harris as the team’s starters.
While Branch proved himself as a solid to good defensive end last season — earning a three-year contract in the process — the Dolphins will also supply themselves with a bright future by starting Charles Harris. If both players can prove to be adequate in limiting opposing offenses on running plays, the door will be opened for Harris, Branch, and Wake to have successful seasons in Miami.
Rotational/Situational: Cameron Wake
Like I stated above, Cameron Wake looks set to once again be moved to a situational role this season. While the term situational might be taken the wrong way, what I personally mean here is that the team limits him to around 40-50% of the defensive plays this season in order to preserve their aging pass rusher.
Should the tandem of Harris and Branch work, look for Wake to remain in this role for the majority of the season. However, if Branch and Harris struggle to make an impact when on the field together, Wake could quickly move back into a full time starting role.
DOLPHINS NEWS: Verner brings added competition to Miami’s cornerback spot
Backups: William Hayes and Terrence Fede
Bringing two more veteran players along for the ride, I see the Miami Dolphins keeping at least five and potentially six defensive ends on their roster this season. Landing as the fourth and fifth players on this list, William Hayes and Terrence Fede likely still need to prove themselves to the team during the preseason but also look to be the favorites for these backup roles.
With both bringing some solid experience to the fold and both being capable players from an overall standpoint, it would be hard to argue with the team should they indeed retain both Hayes and Fede for this season.
Best of the Rest: Julius Warmsley
The only other player on this roster with actual game experience, Julius Warmsley could have a battle on his hands given the amount of raw talent at the bottom of this current depth chart. However, until I see those players on the field, Warmsley has to be the man favored to land a sixth and potentially final defensive end roster spot in Miami.
Cut/Practice Squad: Cameron Malveaux, Praise Martin-Oguike, Arthur Miley, and Joby Saint Fleur
Three undrafted free agents and a second year player that saw no game time last season, the Miami Dolphins could have some tough decisions to make in terms of who gets cut and who gets a practice squad invite. Heck, given the size of a couple of these guys, a transition to defensive tackle may even be n the cards should the Miami Dolphins opt to go this route.