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Miami Dolphins Training Camp Preview: The Receivers

Dolphins training camp: the receivers

Like the asteroid that was hurling towards Earth in Armageddon, or the one that is currently heading towards Earth(Apophis) and will be brushing up against our planet in 2036, football is screaming towards us and every day it is getting closer to impacting our lives. I’ve already laid out the QBs and backs, so now the wide outs are up. Like, the QBs and backs, the receivers are not fully defined in regards to who is going to be where on the depth chart. Honestly, I don’t really think that matters, but it’s knowing who’s going to be out there and where to expect them to line up that counts at this point. The Dolphins will have eight receivers in camp and I would expect them to carry no more than five on game days.

Kenny Stills- Stills, I imagine, will be thought of as the Dolphin’s #1 receiver, but in this offense it doesn’t really matter because I think the ball will be distributed pretty evenly. Stills, as we know, has big play potential and has the ability to take the top off the defense. Since being in Miami, he has been consistent in his production, but I think most would say that he has much more room to produce more. Now it must be said that he hasn’t exactly had the best QBs throwing him the ball the last four years, but it certainly seems that he’s not a true number one guy and that he’s more of a #2 kind of a guy. There’s just to many games where he’s a ghost, but again, how much of that was Tannehill and company doing their best not to one hop the ball to the receivers and Gase just being stressed out to the point of not giving a good God damn? Kenny Stills putting up around the same kind of numbers as he’s had in the past, which is somewhere around 50 catches for 700 yards would be fine with me pending that others step up their game. If those stats end up making Stills the leading receiver, well than we’re toast.

DeVante Parker- It’s pretty simple, for the Dolphin’s offense to truly get anything really accomplished and I mean more than a few decent games, DeVante Parker has to do the one thing he hasn’t ever done. That’s actually come ready to play for an entire season like the guy we know he can be if he actually puts it all together. Count me in as one of the people who have once again fallen for the DeVante Parker mini camp hype. I fully admit I’ve been down this road before only to fooled. But like the saying goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times and wow we have a problem here, fool me a fourth time and that’s an even number basically making all the previous times I was fooled void. A great saying indeed.

We know the story on Parker. He was drafted in the first half of the first round, is big and fast and looks like there isn’t anything he can’t do except play NFL football at a high level without getting hurt. We’ve seen the flashes of when he looks like an unstoppable force that needs more looks, and we’ve seen him disappear like a mirage. I’d love to say that he will bring it this year because it’s a new environment, new QBs, coaching staff, last year of his rookie deal, and that’s what I’m going to do. DeVante Parker will bring the pain this year and be the Dolphins #1 receiver and have over a 1,000 yards. He’s going to make a few plays in training camp that sets Twitter on fire and the hype train will be off and running and I have no problem being the conductor.

Albert Wilson- All indications is that Wilson will be available for week 1 against the Ravens. What that means is that it’s entirely possible is that we see a limited Albert Wilson in training camp. That’s not going to make anyone feel good if we don’t see much of him. We’re going to be thinking that he’s not going to look like the Wilson from last year, before the hip injury, where he was a threat to score every time he had the ball in his hands. We’re going to have to trust the process here and have faith that Wilson will be everything of the guy we remember seeing before he got hurt. Wilson is the more polished of the duo of him and Grant and just seems like the all around better receiver out of the two. No reason why he can’t be the #2 option Fitzpatrick/Rosen look for come the start of the season. What makes Wilson even more of a threat is that he doesn’t have to catch a pass to be effective as we know. The game against the Bears, a defense I’m told is good, is where Wilson showcases what he can do. Just a guy taking nothing and turning it into gold.

And of course this lovely play

Jakeem Grant- How can you not like Jakeem Grant? The answer is you can’t not like him. Grant was another one of the many casualties last year. All reports is that he’s good to go for training camp and that’s a great thing because we need all the playmakers we can get. Like Wilson, Grant can score from anywhere on the field and it doesn’t have to be a run and it doesn’t even have to be on offense. His value as a return man only makes him more valuable. I’ll be a bit perturbed if he isn’t returning kicks. That would be a very Miami thing to do to not let a guy who’s really good at something not do the thing he’s really good at. Grant progressed a bunch last year and was developing into a better route runner before the achilles injury. No reason to think he can’t continue that growth. My expectation is that the ball will be distributed to many guys and not just one guy so Grant catching around 50 balls isn’t crazy and with his ability to take it all the way on any play, his yards could be quite high. Here’s some Jakeem Grant highlights to make y’all giddy.

Preston Williams- Besides the Dolphins 1st round pick, Christian Wilkins, I’m pretty confident that no other rookie has as many people feeling all tingly than undrafted rookie Preston Williams. If you’ve been following the Dolphin’s beat writers on Twitter, you can’t help but hear a collective praise about the work Williams put out during mini camp. It seemed like every day, the undrafted receiver out of Colorado St., was making a few plays that had everyone jaws hitting the ground. He’s got size, 6’4 210lbs, that reminds you of a more slender Brandon Marshall, though he ran a 4.53 40 yard dash at his pro-day. I’m really not that worried about his speed mainly because we’ve seen countless WRs not run 4.4 40s and be very productive in the league. Williams may be a diamond in the rough that Dolphins very much need to find every once and a while. He’ll get some run on special teams, but I expect Preston Williams to not just make the team and play special teams, but actually move his way up the receiver depth chart ever so slightly. I wouldn’t even be surprised to hear that Williams is developing a good rapport with fellow young guy Josh Rosen. At the very least, Williams will make the second half of preseason games more watchable. Here’s some Preston highlights

Brice Butler and Isaiah Ford- Butler got injured during mini camp, but all reports are saying that it’s not serious. Butler looked competent, which compared to many of the past Dolphin’s receivers, is a major upgrade. I’m not sure if he makes the team considering all the love that Preston Williams is making, but the practice squad still keeps him in the league. Perhaps, he shines as a special teams guy.

The same can be said Isaiah Ford. Ford is a guy that many have clamored for since he was drafted in the 7th round in 2017, but missed all of 2017 with an injury and only played on one game last year. Hard to picture Ford breaking through and taking a job away from anyone that was already mentioned, but if he balls out during camp and flashes during a preseason game this new regime may want to reward that kind of gusto.

Another young, unproven crew is what you get with the Dolphin’s receivers’ unit. There’s that dangerous word potential up and down the depth chart, but will three of these guys be able to relied on for a 16 game season? Will one of these guys breakout and turn what should be a massive chip on their shoulder into a proving the doubters wrong type season? I’d like to think so.

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