The Dolphins very publicly traded away Brandon Marshall reuniting him with Jay Cutler in Chicago for two 3rd round selections. They responded to that move by signing Legedu Naanee, drafting in the 6th round B.J. Cunningham, and 7th round Rishard Matthews. But the question is was it enough?
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Anyone who doubts Brandon Marshall as a player on the field or his potential as a number 1 receiver is foolish to do so. He has size, speed, and talent to make him an elite wideout in this league so I for one was surprised to see that he was traded, but not surprised where he was traded to. Chicago finally coughed up two 3rd round picks to help out the Cutler, Marshall reunion and now he resides in Illinois catching passes from Cutler again. The Dolphins were in no way trying to hide their search for a new quarterback which made it even more confusing that the team allowed Marshall to leave.
The move left the team with Davone Bess the leading receiver who caught 30 less receptions 677 less yards and 3 less touchdowns than Marshall’s 81 receptions for 1214 yards and 6 tds. After that it was Bush with 43 receptions, and Brian Hartline with 35 receptions for about 16 yards per catch. Legedu Naanee was signed after spending last season with Carolina starting 10 of 15 games catching 44 receptions for 467 yards and 1 td at 6′2 220 he certainly has the size to be a number one receiver in this league and has the potential to step into that role with the Dolphins across from Bess shifting Hartline into the slot where he should excell. They also still have Clyde Gates a rookie last season who is more of a return man than receiver but may need to step up. They drafted B.J. Cunningham in the 6th round he was ranked as a 3rd round prospect due to his size, route running and quickness out of breaks. He started a lot in college, he is a solid blocker and a physical player that could develop into a starting receiver over a couple seasons. Word out of town is he will push Hartline for time in the slot as the 3rd receiver but likely wind up 4th overall. Rishard Matthews was selected in the 7th round to aid in filling Marshall’s shoes as well, he was a starter in college using his size and intelligence to develop into a contributor. He is another steal this low and both players are expected to outplay their draft status. Ryan Tannehill is another factor here, he may wind up seeing a couple catches here and there to help diversify this offense and help making the whole offense harder to read.
I believe the Dolphins demonstrated extremely smart moves signing a guy who is an up and coming free agent to help supliment two veteran receivers already in place as well as adding two more younger developmental receivers via the draft who can both contribute early and have potential to be large contributors over time.