The Miami Dolphins should have a fun competition at wide-receiver when camp opens at the end of July. Stacked with potential, Adam Gase’s offense could be the deciding factor.
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When Adam Gase took over as the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins, the current wide-receivers were often talked about as a big assett to his offense. So much so that Miami wasn’t expected to touch the position in last April’s draft.
The Dolphins drafted two. In rounds three and six.
What makes this interesting is that the Dolphins are entering the season with DeVante Parker, last years first round pick of the Dolphins, Jarvis Landry who is entering his 3rd NFL season, Kenny Stills who could explode in Gase’s offense (provided Ryan Tannehill picks up the offense), and four year veteran Griff Whalen who joined Miami via free agency after spending his previous seasons with the Colts.
It’s not safe to assume anything with the Dolphins so six wide-receivers is a very real possibility when the team makes it’s final cuts to 53 in late August early September.
What we do know as fact is that Parker and Landry are locks for the team. Kenny Stills is as close to a definite as one can be without having “definite” written across his forehead. Stills is in the final year of his rookie contract as well so this may be the last season we see Stills in Miami.
And now it gets interesting.
Let’s assume that barring a trade of some sort, Stills is the number three receiver. It’s a safe assumption. The Dolphins are still loaded with prospective talent.
Rookie Jakeem Grant and Leonte Carroo will join Whalen and returning receiver Matt Hazel in a competition for what will likely be three roster spots. That means that in all likelihood, Whalen and Hazel will be the focus come camp.
For now, Whalen has the leg up on Hazel. He has been a solid punt and kick returner for the Colts in his last four years and Miami is hoping to find a better option than Jarvis Landry (to keep him injury free). Miami is expecting completion from Whalen, Grant, and others.
While the competition for a roster position won’t really shake up camp, there could be some competition for playing time. Grant and Carroo both look to contribute immediately to the offense. Grant is a diminutive speedster while Carroo has the work ethic and hands of Jarvis Landry. Miami could benefit greatly from Carroo and Landry both in the slot.
The biggest question is how will Miami utilize them all? Most of that will come down to designed plays by Gase and the acclimation of Ryan Tannehill to the system. If Tannehill can’t get his game deeper then Landry and Carroo could be in for a lot of work.
Other members of the group include Tyler Murphy, A.J. Cruz, Rashawn Scott, and Brandon Shippen. Of those four A.J. Cruz could make a statement in the return game as well but it’s highly unlikely that any of the four will make the roster and possibly the practice squad as well.
Early predictions? Parker, Carroo, Landry, Stills, Grant, and Whalen will round out the unit to start the season in September.