There’s been a lot of turnover on Miami’s defensive line. Of the players on the current roster, only Davon Godchaux and Charles Harris have more than one accrued season in South Florida. Even if the Dolphins don’t add any more defensive linemen through the draft, there are many recent recruits vying for limited roster spots when final cuts are made.
Christian Wilkins – Chance of making Week -1 roster = 100%
Wilkins chest-bumped his way onto the NFL stage as the Dolphins RD1 pick in 2019. Despite a relatively disappointing first season, Wilkins is primed to be one of Miami’s centerpieces in coming years. Wilkins brings a vocal presence to the locker room and is a great leader. The highlight of his rookie campaign was the Week-16 TD catch vs the Cincinnati Bengals.
Charles Harris – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 50%
2019 was supposed to be Harris’ breakout party. At season’s end, we were left wondering what the future holds for 2017’s RD1 pick. Harris has little or no trade value at this point, so he may be back if Brian Flores thinks he deserves one final shot. Cutting Harris doesn’t save much money on the cap, but this may be the only option if Grier/Flores just feel he’s not worth keeping around.
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Taco Charlton – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 15%
Taco was claimed off waivers after being cut by the Cowboys in early 2019. Charlton started well in his new home and eventually racked up 5 sacks on the year. Unfortunately, the Michigan man continued to fall short of what would be expected of a former RD1 pick. Charlton finished the season with nagging ankle/elbow injuries, healthy scratches, and an uncertain future in aqua and orange.
Shaq Lawson – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 100%
Lawson is one of the biggest names in Miami’s early Free Agency haul. Another first-rounder – Bills pick #19 in 2016 – the Dolphins are hoping they can get the best out of Lawson after a relatively unproductive stint in Buffalo. Lawson is the prototypical size for a hybrid LB/DE and Flores should find a way to utilize him to his full potential in pass-rushing situations.
Emmanuel Ogbah – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 100%
After the Lawson signing, I was slightly surprised we also landed Ogbah from the Chiefs. In looking deeper, Ogbah may actually provide more versatility than Lawson. This, however, is another signing where Grier/Flores are pinning their hopes on potential. Ogbah has 18 career sacks thus far with 5.5, in 10 games last year, in KC. Ogbah’s 2020 salary is fully guaranteed.
Zach Sieler – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 50%
Sieler was a RD7 pick of the Ravens in 2018 but was cut early last year. Sieler only has 1 sack in 18 career games so far which came for the Dolphins in Week-16 vs the Bengals. In 3 games for the Fins, Sieler showed flashes of promise and he was subsequently re-signed as an ERFA. Given another chance in 2020, I think Sieler could be pleasantly surprising and cement himself into the D-Line rotation.
Davon Godchaux – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 100%
Godchaux has quietly been one of Miami’s most consistent players since being drafted in RD5 in 2017. The big man is listed as the Dolphins’ starting Nose Tackle, but he has shown much needed versatility since joining the league. Godchaux will never wow with his stats but holds up well in run defense. The former LSU man is undoubtedly looking for a big season in his contract year.
Jonathan Ledbetter – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 40%
Ledbetter missed all-but-one game of the 2019 season after suffering an ankle injury which landed him on I.R. Ledbetter had shown promise in pre-season, after signing as an UDFA, and managed 0.5 sacks in his one outing vs the Ravens. Ledbetter could find he’s the odd man out when the final shuffle takes place.
Avery Moss – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 20%
Moss failed to make the most of the opportunity handed to him last year. Moss was signed after being cut by the Giants before the regular season and went on to appear in 11 games. On 348 snaps, Moss did not tally a single sack. The Dolphins will keep Moss around for a time yet, but I can’t see him making the final cut in August.
Gerald Willis – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 30%
Willis was another player picked up from the Ravens and he was initially stashed on the Dolphins’ Practice Squad. Wills did appear in 2 games, but failed to make much of an impression before landing on I.R. Willis has a decent chance to stick on the roster as, at 300lbs, he’s a bigger body than Moss. If the Dolphins add any more interior D-Lineman in the Draft, Willis might go back to the Practice Squad come September.
Trent Harris – Chance of making Week-1 roster = 65%
The Week-17 win over the Patriots will be remembered for a lot of things, but after watching the game again (I couldn’t resist) #97 kept flashing up on screen. Harris was picked up off waivers after the aforementioned Patriots released him at final cuts. Harris made 3 starts, played in 11 games, and got 1.5 sacks. The sacks came in the last two games where Harris saw much more playing time. Harris has re-signed as an ERFA and is one of my big hopes for 2020.