With Jarvis Landry gone, no matter your opinion on the issue, one thing is for sure, the void created by Landry’s departure must be filled. There are 3 routes the Dolphins can take, and if they have to, we may see two or even all three of these options used.
1) Stay in House and Improve Upon What You Already Have
Jakeem Grant, the electric return man who turned his play up at the end of the season and had a stellar finish to the year against the Chiefs where he went for 107 yards receiving and a touchdown to go with his career high 4 receptions.
In Week 17, he had 3 catches for 26 yards, and even though that may not seem like much, 7 out of his 13 receptions on the year came in the last 2 weeks. Grant would finish the year with 13 receptions for 203 yards and showed flashes of his play style that was featured at Texas Tech with new Chiefs QB, Patrick Mahomes.
This will definitely provide a new, flashy alternative to Jarvis Landry and although Grant’s durability has not been tested and he may find trouble getting separation, he adds another weapon to the offense and can line up behind RT17 as a do it all playmaker. The other option without going outside of Davie is Leonte Carroo.
Now, if you have watched the Dolphins since 2016, when Carroo was drafted, you know that he has been very disappointing, his durability has been called into question along with his dedication to coming back healthy, sounds like someone else on the team right? Anyways, Carroo has only reeled in 10 receptions for 98 yards and 1 touchdown in his career.
Carroo has been featuring his workouts on his social media pages, looking to prove that he was worth the 3rd round pick that featured a trade up with the Vikings in 2016.
The Fins traded their 2017 3rd and 4th round picks and the team’s 2016 6th round pick in order to get the former Rutgers receiver. In order for the Dolphins to replace the production from Landry, Grant and Carroo must produce.
2)Trading for a Wide Receiver or Signing One
The Dolphins will be lacking a go to guy, unless Devante Parker finally decides to step it up, and there may be one perfect player to take fill those shoes, or at least help the receiving core fill them.
The player I am referencing is Tyrell Williams of the Chargers. Williams hauled in 43 catches for 728 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2017. Williams had a second-round tender placed on him earlier today. This effectively limits Williams’ options in free agency and allows the Chargers to keep him or trade him.
No matter the choice, they will receive compensation should he choose to ask out of LA. That’s where the Dolphins can step in. The Fins could use a big, dominant receiver that can reduce the pressure on Devante Parker, and hopefully allow Parker to flourish in his fourth season in the NFL.
A package to acquire Williams would probably include a 5th round pick this year and a 4th-6th round pick next year. If that is the case, sign me up because he would flourish in Miami and be able to have a break out season. Even though Williams is available through trade or free agency, the former is very unlikely due to the second-round tender being placed on him.
However, receivers that the Dolphins may look to sign in the free agent class are Taylor Gabriel, who can be a quick, speedy slot receiver, Danny Amendola, as he will likely not make a return to the Patriots, or Kendall Wright, a cheap, serviceable veteran that can contribute significantly to the Fins.
Obviously, there is Sammy Watkins on the market but he will command a significant contract and is not a likely option for the Fins. Gabriel, Amendola, and Wright provide reasonably cheap options for the Fins that allow the young Jakeem Grant and Leonte Carroo to grow while also giving RT17 a serviceable receiving core.
FREE AGENCY UPDATE: The Dolphins have become the favorites to land Chiefs WR Albert Wilson when free agency begins on Wednesday. Wilson had 42 catches for 554 yards and 3 touchdowns. Against the Dolphins in Week 16, Wilson had 3 catches for 36 yards. Wilson would add versatility and experience to the wide receiver room in Miami, something the Dolphins should welcome with open arms.
3)Drafting a Wide Receiver
This option, along with No. 1, is the most likely scenario for the Dolphins. We more than likely will not see the Dolphins trade up from 11 to grab Calvin Ridley, and most likely they will also not select a receiver with the 11th pick.
The Dolphins will probably look for a new wide out in the 2nd or 3rd round and that is where Anthony Miller comes in. Miller was the most prolific receiver in college football over the last two years. Miller hauled in 191 receptions for 2,896 yards and 32 touchdowns in his final two years at Memphis.
Standing at 5’11, Miller is very shifty and can create his own space. He is projected to be a late second or early third round pick, which may require some navigation from the Dolphins but if they feel he is the heir to Jarvis, they should go to any length to recreate Jarvis’ production.
The Dolphins could also go after Michael Gallup out of Colorado State. They have attended his workouts and will attend his Pro Day. At the combine, they held an interview with him, and as a late 2nd round pick or 3rd round pick, Gallup can have an immediate impact for the 2018 Dolphins.
All in all, the Dolphins have created another hole on the team. It may not necessarily need to be replaced or filled but it needs to be looked at, and if the opportunity is there, the Dolphins need to fill this gap with an efficient, economical contract that both sides could benefit from.
In other Dolphin news, the Dolphins have offered Ja’Waun James a long-term contract. The contract would allow the Dolphins to shave a couple million dollars from James’ $9.3 million 5th year option.
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