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This post is the first in a series of six that will highlight some of the big offseason moves the Dolphins have made in 2010. It's only a coincidence that the first post of this series - brought to you by Sprint, of course - just happens to be days after one of the biggest trades in franchise history.
And no, I don't think I'm overstating this.
When the Dolphins acquired Brandon Marshall on Wednesday, they acquired one of the most physically talented receivers in the game today. You can even make a case that he's among the two or three top receivers in the league - and is just now entering the prime of his career.
Just four years into his young career, the 26 year old receiver already has three 100 reception, 1000 yard seasons under his belt and is coming off of his first career 10 touchdown season despite having Kyle Orton throwing to him. But dig a little deeper into some stats and it's easy to see why Marshall was well worth the two second round picks.
In 2009, Miami's receivers finished just 22nd in the NFL in YAC (yards after catch). Marshall, though, was the fourth ranked receiver in YAC in '09. His 527 yards after the catch trailed only Wes Welker, Miles Austin, and Andre Johnson.
You'll also remember that we all raved about how Davone Bess finished second in the NFL in receptions on third down that resulted in a first down. His 28 only trailed New York's Steve Smith by one catch. Marshall, meanwhile, was eighth in the league himself, with 20.
But his greatest contribution could very well come inside the red zone. Thanks to his outstanding size and ability to get off the jam at the line of scrimmage, Marshall led the NFL in 2009 with 17 red zone receptions. Those 17 receptions came on just 25 targets resulting in an impressive 68% success rate. The Dolphins as a team in '09 only completed 57% of their red zone pass attempts (12 of 21).
Seven of those 17 red zone receptions, by the way, were touchdowns.
The best part of all this is that Brandon's best days are probably in front of him. On Thursday when he met with the media for the first time, he made it clear he believes the best is yet to come:
"In the past, there's a lot I didn't focus on. This offseason, I will. I plan for this year to be my best year so far."
Without a doubt, Marshall's arrival in Miami is the biggest game changing offseason move in years.