• Fins cut Grimes Fins cut Grimes The Fins release CB Brent Grimes, freeing $6.5 million in cap space
  • Mario Williams signed Mario Williams signed DE Mario Williams signs a 2 years deal with the Fins
  • Fins trade for CB Maxwell Fins trade for CB Maxwell Fins swap 1st round picks with the Eagles for CB Maxwell and LB Alonso
  • Adam Gase hired Adam Gase hired Coach Gase was hired as head coach of the Dolphins


An Alpha Receiver? Look to the Future

WR Stedman Bailey from West Virginia is just one receiver the Fins might be interested in for next year’s draft.

I have been thinking of the upcoming draft and our desire to get a number one WR. When I think of a WCO WR, the first guy that pops into my mind (as he should in everyone’s) is Jerry Rice. Let me give my idea of what a WCO WR should be and we will get back to Jerry.

I see a WCO WR as being a WR with a quick first step, shifty, great hands, consistent and precise in his route running. He should have a precise sense of timing. Lastly, this WR absolutely has to be football smart and great at getting YAC. I know what some of you guys are thinking right now.

You think “Every WR is judged on those same criteria,” but that’s not really the case. Your X, Z and Y WR’s all have specific routes and assignments whereas WCO WR’s are moved between the various assignments and need to be able to do themall.

<span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif”> Coming into the NFL, Jerry Rice was initially criticized by NFL scouts because his speed. And, givenhis forty time, this may have been an apt criticism. However, what the scouts failed to realize is that he ran the same speed on his 40 run as he did his 1st. This sustained speed gave him the ability to run precise routes, making his timing consistent throughout the entire game.

<span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif”>He also had great upper body strength and a better-than-average first step, an ability which allowed him to get off of the jam at the line of scrimmage. Rice was also football smart; by watching old game films, any intelligent football fan can clearly see this quality. He would anticipate defensive adjustments before and during a play, a move which allowed him to get free or to tie up his defenders.

A WR who can do the things Jerry Rice did makes a QB’s life (and performance) better. We have two ideal WR’s currently starting for us in Bess and Hartline, but we still need two more. I view Rishard Matthews as a WR who could be a very good WCO WR, but for some reason he has yet to get a chance to hit the field.

We also have two RB’s who are ideally suited for the WCO passing game in Bush and Miller. With all of that said, we still need one or two more WR’s; the big argument is a top tier (and thus possibly unavailable) WR vs. just another good WR. As well as Bess and Hartline have been this year, imagine their production with a stud WR who commands double teams lining up with him.

In the upcoming FA period, some seem to think we may try to pick up Green Bay WR Greg Jennings, but I am not so sure. Despite the recent news story in the Sun Sentinel claiming Ross told Dolphins employees,“The acquisition of a true No. 1 receiver the team’s ‘top offseason priority,’” I see it a bit differently. Tannehill’s progression as a QB and as our team’s leader is more befitting a rookie WR than an established veteran WR who may try to take over the huddle (i.e. Brandon Marshall).

Some WR prospects to keep an eye on in no particular order:

  • Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
  • DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
  • Da’Rick Rodgers, WR, Tennessee Tech
  • Stedman Bailey, WR, WVU
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Kevin Thomas

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3 Responses to An Alpha Receiver? Look to the Future

  • Robert Woods from USC certainly fits the mold, but I personally love what I see from Justin Hunter. Hunter is often compared to A.J. Green and would be an ideal fit for any system. He can run and jump through the roof. In addition, he is a good route runner with excellent hands. I suspect he will be our first pick should he be available.

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  • First of all, welcome to the site Jane. Please feel free to become a member and join the discussions on the message boards.

    Actually I like what Hartline is doing this year but he isn’t an Alpha WR. He had a monster game against the Cards but hasn’t had great success up to that point in his career. He has an issue getting free from tight SINGLE man coverage and it is reasonable to think he would be shut down with a double team.

    A true Alpha can take double teams and still put up good numbers which in turn frees up players like Hartline and Bess.

    Hartline is what I would classify as a true #2 WR but has been thrust into the #1 roll due to lack of WR talent on our team.

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  • Uhmmm…we do have an Alpha receiver. His name is Brian Heartline and he is leading the league in receiving yardage right now.

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