Wide receiver was definitely an area of need for the Miami Dolphins entering the draft, and general manager Dennis Hickey was able to get the most pro-ready receiver available in the second round.
The Dolphins were able to land their man after trading down multiple times, gathering valuable draft picks that gave Hickey ammunition to move around later.
ESPN’s Todd McShay (subscription required) had this to say about Jarvis Landry, his 48th-ranked prospect:
"He isn't an explosive vertical or run-after-catch threat, but he is a tough, physical competitor who does all the little things right. Landry uses quickness and savvy to separate from coverage."
Miami’s West Coast offense relies on quick, underneath routes, but the Dolphins have Mike Wallace, who had to become more of a possession receiver later in 2013 because of Brandon Gibson’s knee injury. Wallace is supposed to take the top off the defense, but the Dolphins receivers corps limited him to a much less dangerous role.
Landry is a safety net with his excellent route running and tough mindset. He has no issue taking a hit, rarely dropping passes.
He is a great blocker, comparable to Anquan Boldin. He initiates the defender with strong hands and great technique. Expect to see him line up in the slot on the strong side (right) of the offense to take advantage of this ability.
Although he doesn’t rely on his athleticism, he is a much better football player than athlete. He does the little things extremely well, instead of being a flashy, unskilled athlete.
By catching the ball away from his body, he significantly lowers the chance he drops the ball due to concentration issues. This is a skill that great receivers have. “Body-catching” is often a term that is associated with receivers who “bust” or don’t last long in the NFL.
Landry isn’t an explosive athlete, so don’t expect him to become more than a slot receiver. It’s important to have a great receiver in the slot because it takes a special skill set, but for a second-round pick, it’s not as “sexy” as the receivers who run a 4.4 40-yard dash.
Considering he is only 5’11”, his height isn’t great, so his ability to go up and fight for the ball at its’ highest point might not be possible. He had a poor vertical of only 28.5”, via NFL.com, which was one of the worst at the NFL combine.
Durability could be a concern with the way he takes hits, as he needs to shield his body better than he currently does to stay on the field.
The Dolphins were able to trade down and take an instant impact player at receiver. Giving Ryan Tannehill more weapons was a major goal entering Day 2, and they achieved it. Sometimes the term “low ceiling” is a negative, but Landry is very likely going to be a longtime contributor for this team.
The Dolphins had two receivers who struggled dearly with drops in 2013 in Wallace and Brian Hartline (although the official drops statistics haven’t counted many of Wallace’s).
Expect Landry to be a breath of fresh air for the Dolphins and a solid, consistent contributor for years to come.
Note: All combine results courtesy of NFL.com's results tracker.
Ian Wharton covers the NFL draft for Bleacher Report, specifically focusing on defensive backs. He also covers the Miami Dolphins for DraftMecca.com and FinDepth.com. You can follow and interact with Ian on Twitter @NFLFilmStudy.
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