Who’s No. 2?

Brian Hartline will be competing for the No. 2 WR spot (Source: yardbarker.com)

T minus 17 days until training camp! There will be plenty to talk about after July 30th – lots of new Miami Dolphins, and lots of new position battles we’ll be keeping our eyes on.

On the offensive side of the line, there will be some fierce competition at both guard spots (click here for my thoughts on that), and at Wide Receiver.  There will be plenty of bodies competing for the right to catch passes as a Dolphin, but I’m looking forward to watching another battle within the position– the right to line up opposite Brandon Marshall at No. 2 WR.

Davone Bess won’t be starting, but he may very well end up being No. 2 statistically.  He probably won’t have another 76 catch, 758 yard season – but he may come close. Regardless, he’ll be earning his paycheck from the slot.

This contest is between 28-year-old old Greg Camarillo (who managed to bounce back from a 2008 knee injury to start all 16 games last season), and 23-year-old Brian Hartline (last year’s overachieving 4th round draft pick).

Popular opinion seems to sway toward Hartline stealing Camarillo’s gig in 2010.  As a rookie, Hartline proved to have reliable hands, and found ways to get the ball that Ted Ginn did not.  Hartline totaled 31 catches for 506 yards and 3 touchdowns last season, and Chad Henne seemed to have growing confidence when looking his direction.  But, don’t count out Camarillo. He proved his knee was a non-issue in 2009 and ending up having more catches than Hartline (50) and more yards (552), even though he was kept out of the end zone.

Camarillo and Hartline are essentially the same guy.  They’re both built virtually the same. Neither is flashy.   Neither is a burner.  Neither is going to give a defensive back a pre-game nightmare.   But they both are interchangeably reliable.  They rarely drop passes, and they’re gritty receivers who aren’t afraid to go after the ball and take a shot.  That means they may both potentially be perfectly suited to compliment a stud receiver – which the Dolphins now have in the new #19.

I expect Camarillo to keep the job, at least for the first few weeks of the season, but realistically it doesn’t matter who gets to see their name No. 2 on the depth chart.  By the end of the year their stats will likely mirror each other.  Look for numbers around 40-50 catches, 400-550 yards, and a handful of touchdowns each, as long as Henne spreads the wealth.

Come July 30th, No. 2 WR may not be the most important position battle – but it will still be fun to watch.

Topics: Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo, Miami Dolphins, Training Camp, Wide Receiver, WR

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  • Thumper54

    You give no weight to Hartline’s 16.3ypc versus Camarillo’s 10ypc. Great analysis. I think the stats at seasons end will reflect the huge difference in ypc rather than mirroring each other. We will see who is right. That guy usually is not you sir.

    • Chris Leeuw

      Good point in the 2009 YPC, but with the expectation that Marshall will run away with the stats in 2010 (1,000+ yds, 10+ TDs), I wouldn’t expect either Hartline or Camarillo to have a significant totals over the other. I’m guessing their stats will be relatively the same when the year is complete. (500 or so yards, with 2-3 TDs each).

  • tarniman

    I don’t know about u guys but I’m not 100% sold on Hartline as of yet. Definetly not sold enough to say that he should be a starter in this league. I think the kid from Ohio will have a great oppurtunity this season to sell himself more. One decent rookie season dosen’t make u a star. It isn’t like this guy had a rookie season like a Randy Moss did or something. One thing I hate about the Phins receiveing corp is that they have a bunch with the same skill set. They are all the same guy It makes it hard for one guy to stand out…and that is why there is not a clear cut #2 guy right now

    • james

      Not sold on Hartline…Did u see that interception he stole from Finnegan in the Titans game?? Finnegan may be the best CB in the NFL (top 4-5 for sure). And he snatched that ball from him like he was nothin. Maybe it should be Greg’s job, but Hartline is the real deal for sure. And i’ll be just as happy with him starting or sharing snaps with #83. What a sweet pick he turned out to be.

    • Chris Leeuw

      I’m with you 100% – let’s hope his style of play ends up complimenting Marshall. If he (and for that matter Camarillo and Bess)can prove to be a reliable second option or decoy when Marshall is swamped – he could have a great chance to prove himself this season.

  • tarniman

    Maybe I was a little hard on Hartline…believe me there is nothing more I would like to see than this guy have a breakout season. I really would like to see one of these guys have one. Just imagine if the Phins had it like last years Cardinals…you know more than one big time reciever. That will never be the case untill on of these guys raise their game far above the others. Right now they are all the same guy with simalar stats….So for right now I can just keep dreaming

    • Chris Leeuw

      I don’t think you’re being too hard on him at all. My last post was directed toward you (although to respond james- yes, Hartline did show some promise and I was definitely happy with his potential). I’m not completely sold on him yet either, and let’s face it – He’ll likely never be posting Pro-Bowl numbers, but hopefully he can continue to be dependable, and prove himself this year.

      • james

        Lol, and maybe i gave him too much credit. Now look at him and his abandoned truck situation. awesome.

  • Brian Miller

    I have said this over and over again. Hartline is a lot like Anthony Gonzalez in Indy. Plays the same supporting role will. I think he will run away with the number 2 spot to be honest. Last season he took it away from Camarillo and that will be the case this year. He is a very smart player and that’s why he should get better.