Dissecting the Depth Chart

CB Vontae Davis

David Garrard and Vontae Davis were the two big names making news when the first depth chart of the season was released on Monday, but they certainly weren't the only ones. Even though it is awfully early in the process and things will change, that won't stop everyone — including us — from analyzing what's been presented.

Let's proceed by position:

Quarterback — Obviously, the big story here is Garrard being listed first, ahead of Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill. It actually shouldn't be considering a big surprise, though, because anyone who has watched practice will tell you that Garrard has been much better than Moore and Tannehill is a rookie.

Running back — What jumps out here isn't a halfback, but rather at fullback when rookie Jorvorskie Lane is listed on the first team. Then again, the only three fullbacks on the roster are Lane, Ryan Mahaffey and Jerome Messam, who signed with the Dolphins in the offseason as an oversized halfback. Charles Clay is listed at tight end, so there's really no established player at this position. There's also no guarantee the Dolphins will even keep a pure fullback on the 53-man roster.

Wide receiver — Lot of interesting developments here. The first, and most surprising, is Roberto Wallace being listed fourth at one wide receiver spot behind Chad Johnson, Brian Hartline and Marlon Moore. Wallace actually has looked very good in practice, certainly more impressive than Moore. This one is strange. The interesting twist at the other wideout spot is Legedu Naanee and Davone Bess being listed as co-starters and Julius Pruitt being second in front of Clyde Gates. Regardless of how it shakes out between Naanee and Bess, both will get plenty of playing time. Pruitt being second and Wallace fourth tells you Pruitt is ahead if the last roster spot at wide receiver comes down to those two.

Tight end — Michael Egnew is fourth behind Anthony Fasano, Charles Clay and Jeron Mastrud, which isn't surprising considering he's been practically invisible at practice. In fact, if it weren't for the fact he's a rookie third-round pick, he'd probably be in major danger of getting cut.

Offensive line — Nothing overly shocking here, although seeing John Jerry on the third team is interesting. It continues a steady fall for the 2010 third-round pick.

Defensive line — Interesting to see free agent pick-up Jamaal Westerman third at right defensive end behind Cameron Wake and rookie Olivier Vernon. It's also interesting to note that the second team includes three rookies (Derrick Shelby, Kheeston Randall and Vernon).

Linebacker — There's absolutely nothing here that stands out, but having a second team of Austin Spitler, Jason Trusnik and Gary Guyton suggests the Dolphins could use more depth at this position.

Defensive back — At cornerback, the big story obviously is Richard Marshall being listed ahead of Davis. Either way this shakes out, both of them will be on the field quite a bit. Nothing surprising at safety, although we get the feeling that Jimmy Wilson will make his way into the starting lineup before the start of the regular season.

Specialists — The one story here is at kickoff returner, where Marcus Thigpen is listed ahead of Lamar Miller, Steve Slaton and Clyde Gates. Thigpen also is the second-team punt returner behind Davone Bess, which tells you his return ability might be his ticket to a roster spot — although he stands fifth among running backs.

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