Dolphins' 53-man roster projection includes logjam at receiver

The Miami Dolphins open training camp July 27 at the Baptist Health Training Facility in Davie, Florida. Here’s a 53-man roster projection:

QUARTERBACKS (3): Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Brandon Doughty

The Dolphins have had the same pairing for six years. Tannehill is coming off arguably his best season as a starter but must prove that he is past a knee injury that forced him to miss the final four games last year. Moore is one of the better backups in the NFL and ready to fill in if needed.

RUNNING BACKS (3): Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake, Damien Williams

Ajayi is coming off a Pro Bowl season and is the bell cow who could get 250-300 carries this season if he stays healthy. Drake has big-play ability but made a lot of rookie mistakes and is still working to earn the trust of the coaching staff. Williams is detailed and trusted as a third-down back.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6): Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Leonte Carroo, Rashawn Scott, Jakeem Grant

This is one of the deepest areas of Miami’s roster, with the potential to create a logjam. Landry, Stills and Parker are a dangerous trio that will continue to grow together. Grant will be pushed for one of the final roster spots by other young receivers such as Isaiah Ford and Drew Morgan. But Grant has the edge for now because he remains Miami’s best kick-return option.

TIGHT END (3): Julius Thomas, Anthony Fasano, MarQueis Gray

This position experienced an extreme makeover this offseason, after former Dolphins Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims underachieved last season. Thomas should be a strong addition in the red zone while Fasano does most of the dirty work.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Laremy Tunsil, Ted Larsen, Mike Pouncey, Jermon Bushrod, Ja'Wuan James, Isaac Asiata, Anthony Steen, Kraig Urbik, Sam Young

Pouncey’s healthy return will be key for this group after he missed most of last season with a hip injury. Tunsil is expected to return to his natural position at left tackle after he played left guard as a rookie.

DEFENSIVE LINE (8): Cameron Wake, Andre Branch, Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Phillips, Charles Harris, William Hayes, Vincent Taylor, Davon Godchaux

The defensive ends are four deep and pretty much locked in. There are a lot of young defensive tackles in this group opposite Pro Bowler Suh. Miami is hoping Phillips, Taylor and Godchaux are ready to step up.

LINEBACKER (7): Lawrence Timmons, Kiko Alonso, Koa Misi, Raekwon McMillan, Mike Hull, Neville Hewitt, Trevor Reilly

Timmons was Miami’s big free-agent pickup this year and should stabilize a linebacker group that struggled mightily last season. Alonso, who led Miami in tackles last season, is expected to move from middle linebacker to outside linebacker. Misi is on thin ice and will be pushed hard by second-round pick McMillan.

CORNERBACK (6): Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett, Cordrea Tankersley, Bobby McCain, Lafayette Pitts

This is a mostly young group that should come of age in 2017. Howard and Lippett looked improved during the spring compared with last season, and Tankersley has the potential to be a nice find as a third-round draft pick.

SAFETY (4): Reshad Jones, Nate Allen, Michael Thomas, Walt Aikens

Jones returns after season-ending shoulder surgery and should be a force on the back end of Miami’s defense. Allen was signed in free agency to be a starter, and Thomas is a valuable contributor in sub packages and on special teams. T.J. McDonald isn’t on this list, but he will be on the roster after serving an eight-game suspension.

SPECIALISTS (3): Andrew Franks, Matt Darr, John Denney

Denny is the longest-tenured Dolphin as he enters his 13th season. Franks has had his ups and downs, but he finished strong with a pair of difficult field goals in the playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.