Miami Dolphins: Is Brian Hartline an NFL-Ready No. 1 Receiver?

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst ISeptember 19, 2012

HOUSTON,TX - SEPTEMBER 09: Brian Hartline #82 of the Miami Dolphins completes a reception as he beats Kareem Jackson #25 of the Houston Texans on the play during the season opener at Reliant Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Ryan Tannehill’s second NFL start led the Miami Dolphins to their first victory of the season in a 35-13 beatdown of the Oakland Raiders.

While the rookie from Texas A&M settled into his first career NFL home game, he was much more poised in the pocket. And with this new-found comfort, he started to target wide receiver Brian Hartline profusely.

Of Tannehill’s 200 passing yards throughout the day, 111 of them belonged to Brian Hartline. Half of Tannehill’s completions went to Hartline, who finished the day with nine catches.

Tannehill targeted Hartline 12 times throughout the game against the Raiders. While the Dolphins have struggled with receivers dropping passes throughout the preseason, Hartline comfortably brought down 75 percent of the balls thrown in his direction.

Although a lot of speculation has surfaced about the lack of a strong receiving corps in Miami, it appears as if Tannehill has finally found a receiver he feels comfortable relying on.

Hartline, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2009 out of Ohio State, is beginning his fourth season in the NFL. Although a lot of talk has praised him about the technical aspects of his game, he has never really starred for Miami, particularly when it was desperate for someone to complement Brandon Marshall.

With Marshall’s departure, center stage opened up for a new receiver to lead the way for the Dolphins. With a new quarterback under center, Hartline and Tannehill seemed to be on the same wavelength in Sunday’s game.

Ryan Tannehill may have just have found his No. 1 receiver.