November 28, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Marlon Moore (14) runs towards the endzone after making a catch against the Oakland Raiders to score a touchdown in the third quarter at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Dolphins defeated the Raiders 33-17. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Evaluating Dolphins Wide Receivers

I have speculated for a while that maybe Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin were comfortable with the Wide Receivers the Miami Dolphins have on the roster. After the draft was over Jeff Ireland confirmed that by stating “I have confidence in the players I have on the roster. We still have some young players that are ascending.”

Last year the Dolphins suffered some injuries at the Wide Receiver spot with Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace both ending their season before it began. With both of these guys now healthy only Joe Philbin and staff know if they are ready for the big league. The Wide Receivers were dampened by Brandon Marshall demands for the ball so watch for some players to surprise a lot of fans.

Marlon Moore- Moore has average speed and is a great route runner. He always seems to find a way to get open. He is the one receiver on the team that builds chemistry with the quarterback the best, the quarterback just knows where he is going to be. Look for Moore to become the go to guy.

Clyde Gates – Gates is very fast and athletic. He has a 40” vertical jump and runs a 4.31 40 yard dash. He has the tendency to jump into the ball instead of extending his hands; doing this causes him to lose any extra yards after the catch.

Brian Hartline – Hartline catches anything thrown to him, not very fast but has great hands and is very reliable in the redzone.

Devone Bess – Bess is best in the slot, he’s not very fast but he runs slant routes really well. He is a big third down threat, but dropped a lot of balls last year.

Legedu Naanee – Naanee has average speed, but has the ability to create separation. He has shown he can play at the NFL level, but isn’t always constant.

Roberto Wallace – Wallace got injured before the start of the season. Brandon Marshall took him under his wing, because they were so close to the same height, weight and playing style. He is a big powerful guy, but we haven’t been able to see what he can do.

B.J. Cunningham – Cunningham is not very fast, but a get blocking wide receiver. Everyone seems to focus on Michigan States two other Wide receivers, but Cunningham led his team in yards, was Kirk Cousins #1 receiver and broke receiving records for Michigan State. He was double teamed a lot and teams were worried about playing him. He is fluid in his routes and seems to just drift around the field. He reminds you of Mario Manningham, he is just at the right place at the right time.

Joe Philbin came from a system that didn’t define the #1, #2, and #3 receiver, but just wanted to spread the ball around. Joe Philbin stated after the draft, “The way we teach the passing game is we have individual cuts. We have two man concepts. We have three man concepts. I think the more guys that you can get into different spots to create mismatches for the defense, the better you are going to be.” This is the reason why the Dolphins released Brandon Marshall, and the Dolphins will not pick up a so called “show stopper.” In a west coast system it isn’t about that one guy but if those guys can work together.

When you add in Tight Ends Anthony Fasano and Micheal Egnew then Running Back Reggie Bush, this becomes a very good over-crowded field or pass catchers.

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Tags: B.J. Cunningham Marlon Moore Miami Dolphins Wide Receivers

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