Dolphins’ target share projection offers excitement for 2021 offense

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Seventy eight percent. If ESPN’s Mike Clay sees his projection come to life, 78% of the Miami Dolphins’ passing offense is going to run through the following players this upcoming season:

The two new additions to this group are an exciting blend of speed and run after catch ability and their additions will make life easier underneath for each of the three incumbents on the Dolphins’ projected depth chart. Everyone should benefit from a more balanced overall skillset of talent.

Clay’s projections, which hold up the team’s target share under Tagovailoa’s 9-game stretch as the starter versus the 2021 forecast, are exciting enough to just see the above terms for spreading the ball around to Tagovailoa’s new toys.

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But then there’s the exercise of comparing that same target share workload projected to be shared by Fuller, Waddle, Parker, Gesicki and Gaskin and looking at who the top targets were last year to receive that level of volume in the passing game. Because it, to the surprise of no Dolphins fans anywhere, gets ugly.

78% is the expectation for the Dolphins’ top-5 targets this upcoming year according to Clay, but to reach 78% of the targets Tagovailoa threw in 2020, you’d have to include all of the following players:

Take the combined volume shared between non-mutual talent and you’re talking about taking touches away from Bowden Jr., Grant, Smythe, Hollins, and Shaheen and reverting those targets to two 1st-round picks at wide receiver in Fuller and Waddle. Whether or not it works to the degree that expectations are in for the Dolphins or not, there’s no question that sharing the same sample size of throws to Fuller and Waddle is vastly superior to splitting them between Bowden Jr., Grant, Smythe, Hollins, and Shaheen.