Charles Clay has been the most consistent pass-catcher this season for the Miami Dolphins. "Big Play" Clay has come up big for Miami at some of the most critical moments of the season. The Dolphins have 23 receiving touchdowns this season, Clay has 26 percent of them.
In a season of inconsistent play by Miami, Clay has been the one consistent threat the Dolphins have had. He should have been rewarded with his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
Four tight ends were selected to the Pro Bowl: Julius Thomas (Broncos), Jimmy Graham (Saints), Vernon Davis (49ers) and Jordan Cameron (Browns). The chart below will compare each players numbers with Clay's.
7 (one rushing)
The case can be made for all of these amazing athletes, so whom should Clay replace. Graham's numbers are unbelievable, and Davis has been perhaps the most explosive deep threat at the tight end position since he entered the league in 2006. Cameron's numbers become much more impressive when you consider who has been under center for Cleveland this season.
There is no denying Thomas has had an incredible season for the Broncos. However, he has been catching passes from one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. His 12 touchdowns become less impressive when you see that teammates Eric Decker (10), Wes Welker (10) and Demaryius Thomas (12) each have racked up double digits in touchdown receptions.
I haven't even mentioned the record-setting season Peyton Manning has had. With 51 touchdowns on the season, Manning has already broken the single-season touchdown record and still has one game to go. My point is this, quarterbacks like Manning and Brady have made a career out of turning good players into superstars.
Ryan Tannehill is not at that level...yet.
The Dolphins are a young team with one of the league's worst offensive lines (58 sacks allowed), an inconsistent rushing attack and a second-year receiver-turned-quarterback. Despite all the flaws with this offense, Clay has managed five more receptions than Thomas and just 36 fewer yards.
Clay's minimal contributions have still been massive for Miami this season. He produced one catch for six yards in Miami's win over New England in Week 15. But that catch converted a 4th-and-5 with less than three minutes to play.
Clay has earned the nickname "Big Play." His six touchdown receptions lead all Dolphins receivers, including former Pro Bowl receiver Mike Wallace. His reception against the New England Patriots could prove to be the play that saved Miami's season and his 67-yard grab against the San Diego Chargers may have been Miami's most impressive play of the season thus far.
Keep in mind that Clay had minimal snaps with the starters during the offseason because Dustin Keller was in line for the starting job. All these circumstances continue to strengthen Clay's case for the NFL's all-star game.
Clay may be one of the bigger snubs this time around, but it won't be long before he gets a well-earned ticket to Hawaii.
All stats courtesy of NFL.com