Davone Bess could be the odd man out in the Miami Dolphins‘ wide-receiver competition. He is very popular amongst the Phin fan base because he has a good story, being undrafted out of Hawaii, and embodies the “hard work defeats talent” mantra. This underdog is still the smallest and slowest receiver on the team. He is also returning from a partially-torn ACL and MCL in his left knee.
Bess has good hands, makes few mistakes, but lacks big-play ability. He was Tony Sparano‘s type of guy, a “field goal” of a receiver, if you will. Why on earth would you use him to return punts? Because he was 5th in the league with an 11.9 yard average, you say? Yes, but his longest return was 25 yards. 12 different punt returners scored a touchdown last year, and 23 had at least one return longer than 25 yards. Tell me you ever had the feeling that Bess was going to break one. I dare you.
Slow and steady doesn’t win in the NFL. Sorry.
Now, let’s break down the receiver race. I believe Chad Johnson, Brian Hartline, Legedu Naanee, B.J. Cunningham, and Rishard Matthews make the team. Once again we have to applaud Jeff Ireland, who waited patiently knowing there would be WR value in the late rounds of the NFL draft. Cunningham and Matthews were projected third-rounders because of their size and productive collegiate careers but apparently slid because of their lack of top-end speed. I believe they will produce in the NFL.
Last year, the Dolphins kept 6 receivers so there could be one position left. If available, the battle will be between Davone Bess, Jeff Fuller, Clyde Gates, Marlon Moore, Roberto Wallace, Chris Hogan, and Julius Pruitt.
Joe Philbin will also place Reggie Bush and Lamar Miller in the slot, at times, to bolster the passing game.
Analyze it any way you want, Bess is on the bubble.
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