The Miami Dolphins have had an up and down offseason and one of the moves that they made which is still subject to debate is the trading of Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears. By doing so they leave themselves with little to no big name recognition in the wide receiver core, but being a huge fan of the Dolphins I think 2012 will prove that the Miami Dolphins have big talent at the receiver position and that some of them will break out and make a name for themselves.
New Offense Will Help
According to an article by the Palm Beach Post, the Dolphins incumbent quarterback, Matt Moore, likes the new West Coast offense that is being installed thanks to new head coach Joe Philbin. Moore feels that the spread out style offense will aid him in helping others benefit, namely the receivers. This will be important as again, the Dolphins lack that potent name at wide receiver, at least for now.
Look for Veterans to Step Up
Of the 12 wide receivers the Miami Dolphins currently have on their roster, there are only a few veterans. As I watch all the Dolphins games every season and get to see a handful of home games live, I think there are two veteran receivers in particular who just might have breakout years in 2012.
The first is Davone Bess who I have personally seen make some spectacular plays. Bess finished last season with 537 receiving yards, but 2012 could be his season. Also making some great grabs in the past couple of seasons for the Dolphins is Brian Hartline. Hartline had 549 receiving yards in 2011, but he too could see that number spike in 2012.
While neither player has received a ton of hype this is most likely due to the talent and personality that is Brandon Marshall. However, with Marshall now making catches elsewhere, these two veterans have the opportunity to grab the spotlight and I think they will make the most of it.
Possible Rookie Standouts
The Miami Dolphins do have several rookie wide receivers on their current roster and there are two in particular that I think have a chance to make some real noise in 2012. The first is the Dolphins' sixth round draft pick B.J. Cunningham from Michigan State. Cunningham set records while at Michigan State for most receiving yards and most receptions and might just become one of the bargains of the draft.
In addition, the Dolphins signed former Texas A&M receiver Jeff Fuller. While he is an undrafted free agent signing he has a lot of familiarity with new offensive coordinator of the Dolphins Mike Sherman, who coached him at Texas A&M. Additionally, he caught the majority of his passes while at Texas A&M from the first round draft pick of the Dolphins, quarterback Ryan Tannehill. While some like Walterfootball.com thought he would go in the later rounds of the draft, it's the familiarity with the offensive coordinator and the likely future quarterback of the Fins that makes me think Fuller could surprise a lot of people this season.
One thing is for certain, the opportunity for the Miami Dolphins' little known wide receivers to become superstars is knocking. While I'm not sure who will answer that knock, there is little doubt that by the end of the season, the Miami Dolphins will have a new marquee name at the wide receiver position. If everything works out right, they might even have more.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal "Dolfan" and fan of the NFL since he was six years old when he met Dan Marino and several other Miami Dolphins players. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Dolphins games each season and enjoys writing about the NFL and the Miami Dolphins in particular.
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