Graphic showcases struggles of Dolphins’ receiving corp in 2020

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The Miami Dolphins’ offensive overhaul of the 2021 offseason was rooted in one thing: finding more explosive plays and being able to create more mismatches. And after the additions of Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle — plus the pending return of Albert Wilson — it seems as though the Dolphins are well on their way to accomplishing that objective. But a new graphic, courtesy of Hayden Winks of Underdog Fantasy via Sports Info Solutions, showcases just how dire of a need the overhaul was Miami.

The charted information showcases which receivers across the NFL were the most and least productive against man coverage looks, specifically in Cover 1 and Cover 2.

The Dolphins receivers, aside of DeVante Parker, aren’t hard to find. Just look to the bottom left of the chart:

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Three of the Dolphins’ most prominent wide receivers from 2020 were among the least productive in the NFL against man coverage; with Jakeem Grant, Lynn Bowden Jr. and Isaiah Ford all being grouped among the eight least productive receivers that finished below the expected production versus routes run against man coverage last season.

Context is important here, of course. And for Lynn Bowden Jr., who was serving as an option quarterback for the majority of his final year in college for the Kentucky Wildcats, expecting him to be a refined route runner and winning NFL one on ones as a rookie likely isn’t a realistic expectation — he needs to develop as a player. But for Grant and Ford, the context is not quite as pretty. Both have been in the Dolphins’ system for several seasons and their ceiling as NFL receivers is more than likely equal to what they put on display last year for Miami.

Seeing DeVante Parker and, projecting forward, Will Fuller trend as above-average players against man coverage is a nice development; one that should offer some hope for a more productive and dynamic passing attack in 2021 — particularly when you add the growth of the other young pieces into the mix and factor in the addition of 1st-round pick Jaylen Waddle, too.

With the speed of Waddle and Fuller now in the mix, man to man coverage will be much more difficult to stomach for opposing defenses — or else risk getting burnt over the top. And that should make everyone’s life easier in Miami’s offense in 2021.