Miami Dolphins: Who will win the battle for WR4 position?

Lynn Bowden Jr Miami Dolphins (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Miami Dolphins will have an improved pass-catching unit, but who will win the training camp battle for the fourth wide receiver spot?

The Miami Dolphins have a very crowded (and very expensive) wide receiver room.

The positional unit on the team that needed the biggest upgrade during the off-season was the pass catchers. Due to a lack of depth at wide receiver and the injuries that players sustained during last season, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa spent a good portion of his first year throwing to fellow rookies and other inexperienced guys. It showed in his development and the results on the field, as the Dolphins’ offense was simple and compact.

Going into training camp for 2021, Miami will have a whopping 14 wide receivers listed on their depth chart. That number will certainly be trimmed down when the team makes their cuts throughout August, but there will be a lot of competition throughout camp.

There are a few names that stand out; DeVante Parker has been the team’s bona fide WR1 for a handful of seasons, and Jaylen Waddle was one of the top players selected in the most recent draft. During the free-agent period, Miami inked veteran speedster Will Fuller V, who figures to be a big part of the offense for the upcoming season.

This trio should take up the first three wide receiver spots on the depth chart. But who is going to win the training camp battle for the WR4 spot?

There are plenty of possibilities.

Jakeem Grant:

Jakeem Grant has perhaps the most familiarity with Tagovailoa, but his spot on the roster is anything but guaranteed. Like many of the players on this list, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Grant become a training camp casualty. But the Dolphins’ front office could have plans that include the sixth-year receiver in 2021, and if he makes the roster, then the fourth wide out spot could be his to lose.

Lynn Bowden Jr.:

Lynn Bowden Jr. made an impressive impact on the Miami Dolphins’ offense last year. For a couple of weeks near the end of the season, he was featured in Miami’s condensed offensive attack, his best performance being a 7 catch, 82 yard game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Bowden is a Swiss army knife in that he has the ability to catch passes, line up in the backfield, and even use his arm to make plays. His versatility will make him a strong candidate for the spot up for grabs.

Preston Williams:

Another wild card will be third-year wideout Preston Williams. His first two seasons ended in a similar fashion, as he was able to play in the first eight contests in each before being placed on injured reserve. Because of this, Williams has not had much of a chance to prove his worth or get any kind of rhythm going. He has shown flashes of brilliance that would make him a solid WR2, but he has yet to shake the label of being injury prone. If the Dolphins do in fact part ways with Williams before the start of the season, don’t be surprised to see him find success elsewhere.

Albert Wilson:

After sitting out last season, Albert Wilson will be returning to Dolphins training camp to try and secure a roster spot. He may be Miami’s biggest boom-or-bust candidate for the fourth wideout spot. He has plenty of experience, much of which has come with the Dolphins, namely in 2018 when he was averaging 56 yards per game before suffering a season-ending injury.

While the listed players will have the upper hand at securing their spot as WR4, there will be others vying for position as well. Guys like Mack Hollins and Isaiah Ford were around last year and have familiarity with the franchise, and Allen Hurns and Robert Foster will be hungry for playing time.