Miami Dolphins Draft Countdown: Making the Case for Martavis Bryant

Andrew Tornetta@AndrewTornettaCorrespondent IIApril 21, 2014

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04:  Martavis Bryant #1 of the Clemson Tigers warms up against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With the NFL draft quickly approaching, it remains clear that the offensive line continues to be one of the top priorities for the Miami Dolphins.

However, considering the Dolphins finished 26th in the league in scoring last year—averaging just 19.8 points per game—it's safe to say that adding another explosive weapon or two wouldn't hurt either.  

A case has already been made as to why drafting Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley would be the best choice for the Dolphins in the first round, and I also explained the benefits of drafting Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses.

When taking a look at the players that actually put points on the board, there is one player that continues to jump off the screen as not only a great talent but a great value—Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant.

In almost any other draft, Bryant would be nearly a lock to be drafted as a first-round pick.

However, thanks to an extremely deep and talented wide receiver draft class, the often overlooked man in the Clemson offense is a Day 1 talent that will be drafted on Day 2.

The 6'4", 211-pound Bryant is as explosive as it gets, running a 4.42 40-yard dash while also recording a 39-inch vertical leap, both top-six performances among wide receivers at the NFL combine.

According to Keven Lerner of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Dolphins have already met with Bryant and put him through an individual workout.

The question then becomes if the team feels that they can develop Bryant and transform his raw talent into what can eventually be a superstar receiver.

Wilfredo Lee

Dynamic Offense

As currently constituted, the Dolphins offense features one explosive player in Mike Wallace that is surrounded by a group of solid, yet unspectacular weapons.

While Charles Clay certainly has the capability of becoming a dominant target for Ryan Tannehill, there is nobody else on the roster that puts a scare into opposing defenses.

Bringing Bryant to Miami would open up the entire Dolphins offense. 

Pairing Wallace with Bryant would be a nightmare for defensive coordinators across the league.

At Clemson last season, Bryant caught 42 passes for 828 yards and seven touchdowns, with 17 of those catches going for 20 yards or more. As a sophomore, he averaged 30.5 yards per reception in limited time on the field.

Every time Bryant steps on the field, he is capable of breaking off a big play for a touchdown.

Also, unlike Wallace, he is willing to go up and fight for a ball in the air.

Take a look at this play from a game against Maryland.

Bryant beats the cornerback, but quarterback Tajh Boyd underthrows the route. However, Bryant is able to adjust to the short throw and come back to still make the catch in between two defenders.  

Bryant has shown a great ability of tracking the ball while it is in the air. For someone with limited experience, he is very good at keeping his concentration and focus while also maintaining good body control.

There is no better example of this than the amazing catch he hauled in against Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.


In a matter of seconds after the ball was deflected, Bryant was able to twist his body back around, find the ball in the air, wrap his hands around it and bring it into his chest, all while keeping two feet in bounds.

The main concern most teams have with Bryant is his limited experience. He is still a very raw talent that has a lot of work to do before he can become a complete player.

For starters, he never ran a full route tree while playing with the Tigers, as the vast majority of his plays were either screens, posts or go routes. 

He also has a tendency of dropping too many passes, mostly due to allowing the ball to get into his chest instead of catching it with his hands.

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 22:  Martavis Bryant #1 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates a first half touchdown during the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Sco
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

However, these weaknesses can be easily fixed with proper development and valuable experience on the field.

It's very rare to see a player boast both the combination of size and speed that Bryant possesses. He has all the tools needed to become a dominant player in the NFL and should continue to improve with each passing game.

With Tannehill entering what appears to be the most crucial season of his career, it would be a huge benefit to give him another explosive weapon to throw to.

Bryant is the type of player that can help Tannehill take that next step and help transform the Dolphins into one of the dominant offenses in the league.

Andrew Tornetta is a Miami Dolphins' Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Check out his B/R archive and stay updated on his latest articles by becoming a fan.


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