Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Have you seen Brian Hartline's contract demands?
Here, take a look, as reported by Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald.
Are you back? Alright, close your mouth.
As great as Hartline has been, I don't see him being worth that much money; especially when you consider that 2012 was his first "great" season. I mean great in a relative sense, because he did only score one touchdown to go along with his 1,083 yards on 74 catches.
I liked him this year, but I'd have to see if he could continue this momentum for another year before committing $6 million to him, especially when for $3 million more you could have Greg Jennings as a true No. 1. Not to mention that Davone Bess is already great for the slot receiver role.
So it's safe to say that whether the Dolphins sign a wide receiver or not, they should double down at the position (and that's also the case regardless of if they let Hartline go or not). I already had them picking Patton in Round 3, and in Round 5 I see an intriguing prospect in Conner Vernon.
If you've watched the ACC, I'm sure you're familiar with the Duke Blue Devil, who originally hails from Key Biscayne. He's the ACC's all-time reception leader and for the last three years was the best player on that Duke offense.
But he also participated in the Senior Bowl, where he caught four passes for 35 yards.
During practices, The Finsider's John Congemi compared him to Wes Welker, stating that Vernon, "didn’t drop any pass that came his way this week."
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report's own NFC North Blogger, Andrew Garda, had this to say about Vernon on his Cheesehead TV blog:
During individual position drills, Vernon didn’t look sharp. He didn’t look bad, he just didn’t look as good as Swope.
Then the defensive backs stepped in and Vernon woke up. Vernon made some incredible grabs, ran outstanding routes and just flat out muscled the ball away from the defenders on a consistent basis.
Of the receivers, he was the most surprising to me and the guy who got me most excited on offense.
The comparison to Texas A&M's Ryan Swope is one that he will likely get up until the draft. Based off of the comments I have received, most Dolphins fans want Swope, which is fair considering he already has a connection with quarterback Ryan Tannehill and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
However, Swope is likely to go in the second or third round, where the Dolphins will have better options both at receiver and at other needs. Waiting until the fifth round to pick the second wide receiver in the draft is a good idea that turns great by drafting the Miami native, who had this to say about growing up in Miami to MiamiDolphins.com:
Growing up I was always a Dolphins fan and enjoyed tailgating. Miami was fun and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I grew up great and there’s a lot of tradition there. It was a lot of fun on Saturdays and Sundays and I saw a lot of games in the Orange Bowl but I did see a few Dolphins games at that stadium, even though it was a bit more of a drive from our home in Key Biscayne.
Vernon wants to play here, and can produce for the Dolphins in their position of biggest need. Sounds like a perfect match, especially in Round 5.