Rookie tight ends Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe were all but guaranteed spots on the Dolphins’ roster the minute they were drafted.
But MarQueis Gray and A.J. Derby had to earn their spots, beating out Gavin Escobar and Thomas Duarte in preseason.
Here was Adam Gase’s thinking behind keeping four tight ends (and, perhaps as a result, just five receivers):
“That was the plan the whole way, the whole time. ... [Gesicki is] going to play. We’re going to have a mix of packages and things that we’re going to do. We have a plan. I mean, this isn’t a hobby. We’re not just going to throw it out there. We’ve got an idea what we’re doing.”
Gase added this on Gesicki, the rookie out of Penn State: “I trust him a lot.”
▪ The Dolphins were insufficiently impressed by Leonte Carroo, Isaiah Ford, Drew Morgan, Rashawn Scott (waived/injured after hurt his lower leg Friday), Francis Owusu or Malcolm Lewis to keep a sixth receiver.
But part of that calculation might be their satisfaction with the career arc of Jakeem Grant, who is entering his third NFL season.
“I think Jakeem has really found something to where he’s contributing on offense,” Gase said. “And we really like him at the spot he’s been playing. I think moving him outside last year was huge for him and for us. And he feels comfortable. And those corners are not happy to see him because of his speed. And he’s making plays. And he’s getting better at catching the ball consistently. And I think that makes it tough. Before it was three guys and we were always looking for that fourth and fifth. Now it’s legit. You’ve got five guys that you feel really good about.”
▪ Senorise Perry has been trending in the right direction all camp, the on-field result of huge growth in his game in the last couple of years. He made the team as their No. 4 running back, and Gase explained why:
“He’s an outstanding special teams player. He’s one of those guys [Darren] Rizzi is glad he has. And he has been as consistent as I’ve ever seen him at running back. He doesn’t make many mistakes. He runs hard. He can do every phase that we’re asking him to do, whether it’s pass pro, receiving, running the ball. He has a great grasp of the offense right now. It’s great for me to see three years in this offense, he’s gotten better and better. Just getting to see him develop, I’m happy for him and I love the fact that he’s an impact player for us on special teams.”
▪ Guard Isaac Asiata was one of six Dolphins draft picks cut Saturday (a seventh, Jordan Lucas, likely would have been had as well if the Dolphins not found a trade partner).
The Dolphins hoped Asiata would develop into, at the very least, a dependable reserve. But that has not happened — at least not enough.
“He’s a young player,” Gase said. “There are some things. If he ends up back here on practice squad, who knows, in two weeks maybe he’s up. I mean, you never know. And I think we made some strides. But this year the numbers that we kept and having two tackles that we feel good about and one we feel can play guard if we needed to, that was kind of the direction we went. I think he’s getting better. I do think he got better during this preseason and training camp. It’s just the numbers got tight.”
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