☆Fourth in a series
The Miami Dolphins had five openings and only three men to fill their wide receiver room when training camp opened.
The Dolphins knew that barring bizarre circumstances they would have DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry in that talented room. And they had eight other players contending for the final two vacancies.
And, as with everything in life, the story of this group coming together had ebbs and flows.
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Early in the offseason Arkansas rookie Drew Morgan looked very impressive. Of course, the pads hadn’t come on yet.
Early in training camp, Jakeem Grant, on the team last year, didn’t look impressive because he was dropping or double-catching about 25 percent of the passes thrown to him.
After a nice start to camp and an eye-opening preseason opener against Atlanta, Leonte Carroo kind of faded because he suffered a strained hamstring that sidelined him for over a week.
Damore’ea Stringfellow impressed with a smooth 99-yard catch and run TD against the Falcons. And University of Miami Rashawn Scott (foot) and Malcolm Lewis (concussion) left some folks disappointed because they were injured part or all of training camp, limiting them or, for Scott, preventing them from competing.
Lots of moving parts over time.
But as the Dolphins get one snapshot in time to pick their five receivers -- that coming over the next five days -- coaches and personnel people have to account for all those things. And they have to account for other factors as well.
Such as ...
Carroo, 212 pounds this year and down at least 10 pounds from last year, is a different guy than he was in 2016, particularly late in the season. It’s as if someone put the fear of God in him and he lost weight and takes advice from more accomplished players and tries to practice hard every day. He hasn’t exactly blown people away with amazing catches or eye-popping production. But he’s been good.
Good enough to be one of the five receivers. He’s on the team.
Grant was moved from the slot to outside, a spot he feels more comfortable playing, about two or three weeks ago. And suddenly he stopped dropping passes. And suddenly he was beating corners on the outside pretty regularly in practice. And then he had that 69-yard touchdown reception against Philadelphia.
And that means he’s one of the five receivers. He’s on the team.
So Miami’s five receivers are Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant.
That, of course, does not speak to what happens with the other seven receivers the Dolphins must account for.
Stringfellow is impressive. He is 6-2 and 222 pounds. He has good hands.
Is he Julio Jones? No, of course not.
But he’s got something beyond a cool last name. He also led the team with four catches for 130 yards this preseason. And I saw the team tried to get a replay of that long TD when it called the same play later in the preseason. The play fell incomplete this time so no long TD.
But Stringfellow was open again. A better pass would have resulted in another impressive completion.
Stringfellow belongs on practice squad.
Scott? Tough situation. He obviously doesn’t make the team. He’s not even ready to compete.
“That was a tough one for him to go through,” coach Adam Gase said. “He was a guy that always seemed to spark the rest of the group. He works so hard, doesn’t say much, and I felt bad for him that he didn’t have a chance to compete in training camp; but he’s a guy that we really trust and we feel like he does a lot of good things.”
Scott feels like a Physically Unable to Perform or Injured Reserve kind of move.
Morgan? What to do with the next Wes Welker or Chris Hogan? I’d say he’s going to be a factor at some point for someone in a year or two.
But not yet.
So he gets cut. The question is does he get brought back on the practice squad? I have no idea.
Fake GM Mando puts him on practice squad if possible. Real GM Chris Grier and Executive Vice President Mike Tannenbaum, and Gase?
That’s easy. Now that I’ve said what I’d do, they’ll do the opposite.
☆Keep refreshing as the next post will be the Dolphins plan for their offensive line, including the always resolved, never problematic left guard position.
For catching up purposes.
Here is my post on what the Dolphins plan with their TEs.
Here is my post on what the Dolphins plan with their RBs.
Here is my post on who won the punting job.
Here’s my post on what the Dolphins plan with their QBs.
Here’s what Barry Jackson is thinking on some roster moves.
And these are my cell and home phone numbers in case you have any questions or complaints about my work.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero