Dolphins’ Wide Receiver Position Battles Ahead Of 2021

Pic Cred: Miami Dolphins

Some roles on the Miami Dolphins roster were clearly defined by their offseason moves. Others are going to have to fight for their snaps in training camp.

With the vast majority of player movement settled, the team roster is all but set. The starting lineup still has some wiggle room, though, as players start reporting for OTAs and show off the work they put in during the offseason.

Depth is key in the NFL. That fact will only become more apparent as the league embarks on its first 17-game schedule. Here are the roles that will see some competition throughout the summer and are worth keeping an eye on. Here are the roles that will see some competition throughout the summer and are worth keeping an eye on.

The first position we are going to dive into is going to be the wide receiver group.

Current Depth Chart

  • Will Fuller
  • DeVante Parker
  • Jaylen Waddle
  • Preston Williams
  • Lynn Bowden Jr
  • Jakeem Grant
  • Allen Hurns
  • Robert Foster
  • Malcolm Perry
  • Kirk Merritt
  • Albert Wilson
  • Mack Hollis
  • Kai Locksley

The top three are a lock to be on the roster and the field for the majority as long as they are healthy. You can pencil in Parker and Fuller on the outside and first-round pick Waddle in the slot. But those three have had injury concerns the past couple of seasons. Parker has finally come into his own and is now living up to the first-round pick. Fuller has never made it through a full season without missing any games and is suspended the first game this upcoming season. Waddle is coming off an injury that knocked him out of most of the season with Alabama.

The intrigue here comes in who will be the fourth receiver and what will be the hierarchy among the top three for targets.

The leading candidate should be Williams. He’s been strong over the last two seasons as a playmaker when he’s been on the field. He’s averaged 14.3 yards per catch with seven touchdowns. The problem is he’s been held to eight games in each of his first two seasons with injuries.

Bowden Jr. remains an interesting option. The converted running back played in 10 games last season and caught 75.7 percent of his targets. However, he only averaged 7.5 yards per catch.

Grant is not just a receiver but he played a big role as a returner last season when healthy, averaging 24.8 yards per kickoff return in his career.

The veteran players trying to earn a roster spot are Hurns, Foster, Wilson, and Hollis. Hurns and Wilson opted out last season with the covid protocols. Foster showed promise as a rookie with the Buffalo Bills but never was able to carve out a role with the additions the Bills made.

The younger players trying to earn a spot on the roster Perry, Merritt, and Locksley. Perry was a seventh-round selection in 2020 for the Dolphins. He is in a developmental role with the Dolphins last season as he is still adjusting to the position, Perry player quarterback in college. Merritt was a 2020 college free agent who signed with the Dolphins and spent most of last season on the Practice squad.

My Projection

  • Will Fuller
  • DeVante Parker
  • Jaylen Waddle
  • Preston Williams
  • Lynn Bowden Jr
  • Jakeem Grant

Once again the starting three are all but locked in stone. I believe Williams is a great depth receiver on the outside with his size and speed. Bowden showed growth as he was moved from running back to a receiver during the season, and a whole offseason to develop should only improve his game. Grant makes the team as the main return specialist.

The Dolphins should be able to sneak Perry and Merritt onto their practice squad. Both are young receivers who could benefit from another year with the team. With Fuller only signing a one-year deal one of these two may be able to make the jump to the active roster next season.

Am I leaving someone out that you believe makes the active roster? Is there a player you want to see the Dolphins sign in free agency right now? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to reach out to me on Twitter with the information below.

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