After a somewhat overachieving regular season, the Miami Dolphins now look to free agency and the draft in order to improve areas of need.
Among these, one of the biggest needs has to be wide receiver. Brian Hartline emerged as a solid and reliable receiver, but he's by no means a No.1 receiver on any team. Davone Bess is also a reliable receiver, but his effectiveness is better utilized as a slot receiver, not an outside receiver.
In order for Ryan Tannehill to become more consistent and improve his stats, Miami needs to invest on a No. 1 receiver either through the draft or through free agency.
This year, the draft is not loaded with great receiver talent in the first round. There are some solid prospects that are worth taking in the early second and late second round. With this in mind, the Dolphins might look to improve their wide receiving corps through free agency. Another option is to add a receiver through free agency and another receiver through the draft.
There are a lot of possible ways the Dolphins could go here. We'll review three players they may be looking to bring to South Beach.
Greg Jennings has been linked to Miami for a while now. Joe Philbin was Jennings' offensive coordinator in Green Bay and may want to bring him into his West Coast offense, which Jennings is already familiar with.
Green Bay has a load of talent at wide receiver and will probably let Jennings walk. After missing most of the season due to injury, health concerns may raise questions about his durability since he is getting older.
However, Jennings' familiarity with the offense and his playmaking ability bring a new dimension to the Dolphins offense. Tannehill would have his No. 1 receiver and his deep threat. A wide receiver group that includes Jennings, Hartline and Bess can quickly become one of the best in the league.
If Miami is unable to get something done with Jennings or if it simply is not interested in the Green Bay receiver, it can turn to Mike Wallace. Even though he might not be familiar with the offense or with Joe Philbin, Wallace is younger than Jennings and has become one of the more electric wide receivers in the league.
Miami has been dying to add a deep threat and Wallace is as good as they get. He is looking for a huge payday, which Miami can give him given its cap space. Wallace fails to give Miami the red-zone threat it is looking for, but that can be addressed by adding another receiver through the draft or adding a tight end.
This year, Wallace had a down year given the production he has had in previous seasons. He caught 64 passes for only 834 yards after having consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, but did manage to score eight touchdowns. In comparison, Brian Hartline had 74 receptions for 1,083 yards but only one touchdown.
After watching multiple Tennessee games hoping to see Justin Hunter on tape, all I saw was Cordarrelle Patterson take the spotlight.
Hunter had more receptions, touchdowns and receptions, but this comes as a result of being targeted more often than Patterson. If you look at the tape, Patterson is the more dynamic and reliable receiver. They both have the size that can help the Dolphins in the red zone, but Patterson is the faster receiver that can stretch the field.
If the Dolphins look to add a game-changing receiver in the draft, Patterson is the way to go. He still has some polishing left, but he will give them the most long-term success. Hunter, Keenan Allen and Terrance Williams are also good prospects, but Patterson gives the Dolphins exactly what they need.
With the Dolphins picking at No. 12, it might be too high to draft any receiver in this draft. However, if they wait until the second round, they may not find any of the aforementioned receivers. If they are able to trade back in the first round, they will add extra picks and will get better value for their pick.
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