Miami Dolphins WR camp competition will be intense

Preston Williams (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Preston Williams (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins are once again stacked at wide receiver, on paper at least, and this years training camp competitions will be fierce.

How many wide receivers will the Miami Dolphins keep in 2022? Typically, teams will carry five or six but could Miami keep seven? That seems like a lot but it can’t be discounted, not completely.

For my money, six WRs will be carried in 2022 and we know that Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill, and Cedrick Wilson, Jr., barring  injury, will take up three of those roster spots.

Looking at the roster, Erik Ezukanma should also take up a roster spot. Miami invested a draft pick in him this past season and there is a lot to like about him. I wouldn’t say he is 100% going to make the team but I think he has a pretty good shot at it.

If Ezukanma makes the team, only two spots will be open for competition and that is where this is going to get good.

It is hard to figure who has, if anyone, an inside track to the final 53. Salaries are one-year deals or two at the most. Many are not guaranteed beyond a simple signing bonus. League experience varies between six years and one season but the experience on the field also varies just as much.

The most experienced WRs on the roster outside of the top three are Cody Core, River Cracraft, Trent Sherfield, and Preston Williams.

Let’s start with Williams.

Williams, if he stays healthy, something he hasn’t been able to do, could push for playing time and not just a roster spot. He has a high ceiling but it has been unrealized. Health is his biggest competition.

Cracraft, Core, and Sherfield all have years but their experience has been limited in their previous stops.

  • In the case of Sherfield, has 37 receptions four seasons. He does however, have one season with Mike McDaniel in San Francisco.
  • Cracraft has four seasons in the NFL and the last two have been with the 49ers as well but he only has 7 receptions in his entire career.
  • Core has four seasons of NFL experience but has only 33 receptions over those seasons. He doesn’t benefit from having played under McDaniel.

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Finally, there is Lynn Bowden, Jr. A highly talented WR who some believe will take on a Deebo Samuel style of role with the Dolphins. That isn’t surprising considering he can line up in the backfield, has quick feet, and can make defenders miss. The problem is his health.

Bowden, Jr. faces a critical training camp after missing quite a bit of time last year. He has 9 attempts  for 32 yards and 28 receptions for 211 yards. The talent is there and this may be the year he breaks out.

If the Dolphins go with five WRs, I believe that Hill, Waddle, Wilson, Ezukanma, and Bowden will make the roster. If they go six, it will come down to Preston Williams’ health.

Somewhere in all of this, the Dolphins will need to identify a potential return guy in either the kicking game or the punt return game. If one of those mentioned above, Core, Sherfield, and Cracraft can prove their value on special teams, then that player will take up the final WR spot

When push comes to shove, however, the Dolphins have pressing areas of needs and better competition for a few remaining spots. It is going to be hard to justify keeping six receivers if two of those are not named Bowden and Williams.