Miami Dolphins Power Rankings: No. 9, Wide Receiver Brian Hartline
At the nine spot in the Miami Dolphins power rankings comes Brian Hartline, a receiver coming off of his first 1,000-yard season.
From 2011 to 2012, Hartline made a huge jump as a receiver. Statistically, he had the best season of his young career, notching career-highs in receptions, receiving yards and games started.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Hartline's 2012 season was his Week 4 onslaught against the then-surging Arizona Cardinals. Arizona was coming off of an impressive 3-0 start to the season, and Hartline did everything in his power to ensure Miami's victory by recording single game career-highs in receptions (12) and receiving yards (253). He also caught the longest pass of his career in this game, which was an 80-yard score.
It was this performance that put Hartline on the map for the NFL to see, as well as solidifying him as Ryan Tannehill's go-to target in a very weak receiving corps.
Miami rewarded Hartline's successful season by re-signing the reliable target to a five-year, $30.775 million contract with $12.5 million guaranteed.
The Dolphins and GM Jeff Ireland made re-signing Hartline a top priority, getting the deal done as soon as the free agency period began.
Hartline recorded three 100-yard games, seven games with five or more receptions and averaged a reliable 14.6 yards per catch.
Hartline had a slew of problems during the 2012 offseason, including an appendectomy procedure that was complicated by gangrene, which lead to the receiver losing 25 pounds a little over a month before training camp. On top of that, Hartline missed much of training camp with calf issues.
"A week before the season started, my toe nails were falling off, which happens to guys a week into training camp," Hartline said in an interview with NFL.com.
Despite all of those issues, and Hartline "not getting his legs under him" until weeks into the season, Hartline was the NFL's leading receiver through the first four weeks, with an impressive 455 yards receiving to his name.
The Not So Good
If you look at Hartline's contract ($30.775 million), he's being paid about $5 million for every touchdown pass he has caught in his four-year NFL career.
In Hartline's defense, he was plagued by a quarterback named Chad Henne and a head coach named Tony Sparano early in his career. He also spent two years playing second-fiddle to Brandon Marshall in an offense that hasn't been a prolific passing threat since the days of Dan Marino.
2012 was the first year Hartline was given a chance, and he did have a career year.
Though, once again in 2013, Hartline looks to be an afterthought when held in comparison to Mike Wallace.
Wallace opens the field with his speed, which benefits Hartline and other receiver, though Wallace also takes touches away from Hartline, who will need to be more efficient to put up similar numbers. Hartline pulled in 57.8% of the passes thrown his way.
With more weapons comes less opportunity for players to light up the stat-line. There's no question Miami's offense is better heading into 2013, but Hartline's numbers may suffer because of it. Still, look for Hartline to make an impact as a reliable target for Tannehill.
Hartline is entering the fifth year of his career. The Ohio State product will be catching passes from a much-improved Ryan Tannehill, who enters his second year in the NFL and is generating a ton of buzz from around the league.
Along with those receiving threats, Miami has big plans and expectations from second-year running back Lamar Miller, who started this power ranking list as the 10th ranked player on the Dolphins roster.
No. 9, Wide receiver Brian Hartline (current page)
No. 1-8, coming soon
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