Jay Ajayi has head start over Arian Foster in Dolphins' RB competition

Can Dolphins' offensive line finally gel as a unit? (0:57)

ESPN Dolphins reporter James Walker explains how Miami has added depth to its offensive line this season to help the unit where it struggled last season. (0:57)

The Miami Dolphins open training camp on July 29 at the Baptist Health Training Facility in Davie, Florida. Here's a starting lineup projection:


Quarterback (Ryan Tannehill): He's learning his third offense in four seasons under new head coach Adam Gase. Despite back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons, Tannehill must improve his pocket presence to take the next step.

Running back (Jay Ajayi): It's going to be a close race between Ajayi, who has just 187 career rushing yards, and seven-year veteran Arian Foster. But Ajayi has a four-month head start during the spring, and Foster is coming off an Achilles injury.

Receiver (Jarvis Landry): Landry is a star in the making who proved to be more than a slot receiver in 2015. It's going to be difficult to top his team-record 110 receptions.

Receiver (DeVante Parker): The 2015 first-round pick might be the most physically gifted player on the Dolphins. A history of foot issues is the only concern with Parker.

Receiver (Kenny Stills): Entering a contract year, Stills is out to prove last season's career low of 27 receptions with the Dolphins was a fluke.

Tight end (Jordan Cameron): The former Pro Bowler failed to get on the same page consistently with Tannehill last season. There are more expectations from Cameron in their second year together.

Left tackle (Branden Albert): At 31, Albert said he's in his best shape in years. Tannehill is often at his best when Albert is protecting his blindside.

Right tackle (Ja'Wuan James): The former 2014 first-round pick is coming off a toe injury that forced him to miss nine games last season. James is a steady player when healthy.

Left guard (Laremy Tunsil): Despite off-field concerns, the Dolphins were ecstatic to draft Tunsil at No. 13 overall in April. The former left tackle must play out of position as a rookie, but he should be a sizable upgrade at guard.

Right guard (Jermon Bushrod): This position is really wide open, with several contenders. But Bushrod has the most starting experience, and he knows Gase's offense well from their time together with the Chicago Bears.

Center (Mike Pouncey): The three-time Pro Bowler continues to be a leader on offense and inside the locker room. Pouncey must stay healthy for the offensive line to reach its potential.


Defensive end (Mario Williams): The Dolphins expect a bounce-back year from Williams, who registered just five sacks for the Buffalo Bills in 2015.

Defensive end (Cameron Wake): He's 34 and coming off an Achilles tendon injury. In order to stay fresh, Wake might get fewer snaps than in the past.

Defensive tackle (Ndamukong Suh): Miami's best overall player must dominate more consistently in the middle of the defense. A change to the “wide 9” alignment should help play to Suh's strengths.

Defensive tackle (Jordan Phillips): The 2015 second-round pick is in a close battle with veteran Earl Mitchell. Phillips has more upside, but he needs to work on consistency.

Outside linebacker (Jelani Jenkins): The former fourth-round pick is in a contract year and must prove he's a long-term solution. Injuries derailed his 2015 season.

Outside linebacker (Koa Misi): Misi gets a chance to return to his natural position after an inconsistent 2015 at middle linebacker. He has missed eight games over the past two seasons due to injury.

Middle linebacker (Kiko Alonso): Miami acquired Alonso in an offseason trade to plug a big need in the middle. Alonso was shaky last year with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cornerback (Byron Maxwell): The Dolphins also acquired Maxwell in a trade to boost their secondary. His size and ability to press fits defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's scheme well.

Cornerback (Xavien Howard): Miami's second-round pick showed plenty of athleticism and potential in spring practices. He should beat out challenger Tony Lippett in training camp.

Safety (Reshad Jones): The Pro Bowler isn't happy with his contract, but that won't be an issue in training camp. Jones said he will not miss additional time after his one-day holdout at minicamp. He led Miami in tackles (135) and interceptions (five) in 2015.

Safety (Isa Abdul-Quddus): The free-agent pickup remains a bit of a mystery; he is on his third team after starting just 16 games during his five-year career.

Special teams

Kicker (Andrew Franks): Miami's kicker only had 16 field goal attempts last season, including 13 makes, as a rookie. Franks still has plenty to prove.

Punter (Matt Darr): The former undrafted punter was a nice find for Miami last season. He averaged 46.7 yards per punt and could improve that average in year two.

Long snapper (John Denney): Miami's longest-tenured player is entering his 12th season with the Dolphins. He rarely has a bad snap, which is exactly why he has stayed employed for so long.