Miami Dolphins: Projecting the starting 5 wide receivers


At the start of the 2015, the Miami Dolphins have something they haven’t in a long, long time. They have depth at the wide receiver position, and a whole lot of it. With camp stand outs Laron Byrd and Michael Preston pushing for special teams, practice squad, or an unlikely #6 receiving spot, the Dolphins have a problem most teams wish they had (cough Carolina Panthers).

A plethora of talent at a single position can be tough for a coaching staff when roster cuts come around. The first round of cuts (September 1st) will force Fins to reduce their roster size to 75 players. Expect wide receivers Tyler McDonald, Cobi Hamilton, Kevin Cone, Damarr Aultman, and possibly Christion Jones to be cut at this deadline. The one player I mentioned that who would have a shot at staying on the roster is Christion Jones. This is based solely off his ability to contribute on special teams, both as a backup returner and outside flyer on kickoffs. The only thing he’ll need to prove is his desire to tackle, as he’s primarily been an offensive player his entire football career.

After the Dolphins final preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 3rd, the Fins will have 2 days to decide who will be on the final 53-man roster. Hypothetically, if the Fins had to make these final roster cuts today, I believe Christion Jones, Matt Hazel, and Michael Preston would be cut, with Laron Byrd being demoted to the practice squad. Keep in mind, if Davante Parker is still injured, and not able to play in week 1, Byrd could make the final 53-man roster.

So, who will be the starting five wide receivers to start the 2015 NFL season for the Miami Dolphins? At the #1 position, newly acquired veteran Greg Jennings will be a consistent threat on the outside. At the #2 position, I believe Kenny Stills will have what it takes to become a consistent deep threat. In the slot, the #3 WR will be the man that glues this deep group together, Jarvis “Juice” Landry. If Davante Parker is healthy, expect him to start the season as the #4 receiver, with a chance to break into the starting lineup early to mid season. Finally, at the #5 receiver spot, the talented and extremely underrated Rishard Matthews should easily make the roster.

As the season progresses, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Matthews get just as many, if not more targets than veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings. While Jennings is a consistent, sure-handed player, his age is a negative, and could be a factor during the final few games of the regular season. I believe Matthews has the potential to be a legit #2 receiver in the NFL. He’s been a standout in camp thus far and deserves a shot during the regular season to prove himself. Luckily, the Miami Dolphins play in an offensive system that consistently rotates wide receivers in to keep them fresh.

Spreading around the football is important in any offensive scheme. Luckily for Tannehill and the Dolphins, their biggest problem in terms of roster cuts may be their biggest strength during the NFL season–wide receiver depth. Let me know your thoughts and as always, Fins up!