Dolphins WR Cedrick Wilson Jr. could be a hidden key to their offense

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The big-ticket items are always going to get more fanfare.

In all things, it’s flashy products and purchases that get people excited. If you’re a kid waiting for the groceries to come home, most look at the snacks and treats.

However, while fun and enjoyable, the real meat and potatoes of a grocery trip tend to get less publicity and celebration. At the same time, some of those purchases could be key to weekly, monthly or seasonal success or survival.

Following what seemed to be a trip to Costco and then a factory outlet mall, Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier loaded up for at least a season or two with purchases and acquisitions such as Terron Armstead, Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and, of course, Tyreek Hill. On the way home, Grier couldn’t help but run into the Dollar Tree and scoop up a veteran linebacker.

Among the other moves that Grier made, like signing offensive lineman Connor Williams and said linebacker Melvin Ingram, there are a few additions that could prove as valuable as any when considering the task of the individual.

Enter Cedrick Wilson Jr.

The former Dallas Cowboy was an early free agent signing for the Dolphins back in March. Wilson had a fine 2021 season for Dallas, catching 45 passes for 602 yards and six touchdowns. That’s a ratio of a score every 7.5 catches.

Going deeper into those catches is the timing and importance of them, as Wilson was a prominent chain-mover out of the slot position, converting 27 of those 45 passes into first downs. When taking a closer look at his early career, Wilson’s three NFL seasons have seen a nice, steady trajectory.

After missing his rookie season, he had just five catches on eight targets in barely any action through six games. 2020 saw an opportunity for more playing time, as he appeared in all 16 games, recording 17 receptions, 10 of which gained a new set of downs. He also hit the endzone twice, which is a similar ratio of a score every 8.5 catches.

2021 was a solid leap, more than doubling his catch production while gaining a respectable 602 yards. For what is arguably work from a fourth offensive weapon, these numbers are rather impressive. Wilson was reliable in 2021 with a catch rate of 73.8%. If we want to compare, Hill had a catch rate of 69.8% in 2021, and Jaylen Waddle hauled in passes at a 74.3% clip.

Add Mike Gesicki into a target crew that includes Waddle, Hill and Wilson, and quarterback Tua Tagovailao truly need not have to throw the ball too deeply to gain heavy yardage. The Dolphins are aiming for higher yards after catch numbers from all receivers, and Wilson specializes in this area as well.

The 26-year-old had an average yards-after-reception of 5.6 last season which compares favorably with teammates Waddle (4.2) and Hill (4.0). It’s fair to say that while Wilson could be far down on the target list of Tagovailoa, simply because of the company around him, the former Cowboy will seemingly ride with whatever opportunity he gets and make the most out of it.

Wilson also has the benefit of getting coached up by one of the best slot receivers to ever wear cleats in former Dolphin Wes Welker. The once New England Patriot and Denver Bronco, coached with new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel in San Francisco the last three seasons, and each and every Miami pass-catcher should be thrilled to learn from Welker.

After putting the full offense on paper, opponent questions will arise about who will cover who. Hill, Waddle and Gesicki give defenses nightmares, but please don’t sleep on Wilson, Jr.

When it comes to looking for an unsung, unheralded Dolphin with uncapped potential, look no further than Wilson, who may be a sneaky player to produce in important instances of the game. Look for Wilson to be a third-down fixture on a Miami offense that’s looking to be more potent than it has in decades.

List

WATCH: Clips from Dolphins' first day of 2022 minicamp