The Dolphins held their first organized team activity of 2010 on Tuesday. And on Wednesday the Dolphins will hold another - which will be open to the media.
The receiver position will be one that will likely garner a lot of attention - both during these OTAs and during training camp later this summer. The Dolphins added their very much needed number one receiver this offseason when they traded for Brandon Marshall and he'll definitely be one of the focal points of both fans and the media.
How is Marshall fitting in with this offense? How is his timing with Chad Henne coming along? What freakin' number will he be wearing? Those are just some of the things we'll all be awaiting word on.
But the position has more story lines than just B-Marsh. The battle for the other starting receiver spot opposite of Marshall will be a key story line. But that likely will be a battle that will play out well into camp this August. So we'll focus on that battle when camp gets closer.
But for now, let's discuss the players who will be fighting to make the final 53 man roster at the receiver position.
Safe: Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo, Brian Hartline
Bubble: Patrick Turner, Ryan Grice-Mullen, Julius Pruitt, Taurus Johnson
First off, let me say I'm aware I left off undrafted rookies Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore. But let's be honest - these guys are not making the final 53. If anything, they will be battling for a spot on the team's practice squad.
Last year the Dolphins began the regular season with 5 receivers on their 53 man roster. I'm no psychic but I suspect that's what we'll see again in 2010. With four spots all locked up already, the battle for the fifth spot will be hotly contested.
Turner was a disappointed in 2009, only being active for two games. He was an early stand out in OTAs and minicamps but then faded when things got real in training camp and the preseason. It was believed that the coaches were not happy with how the bigger turner was unable to get off the jam, even against smaller corners like Nate Jones. There were also rumors that Turner was slow in picking up the offense. One thing we know for sure is that Turner's inability to contribute on special teams definitely hurt his chances of being active on gameday as well.
Turner's biggest competition figures to come from Ryan Grice-Mullen. RGM was a teammate of Davone Bess at Hawaii and is said to similar on the field to Bess - with two differences. He doesn't possess the hands that Bess has but he's faster, having run a 4.36 40 yard dash at his Pro Day workout two years ago. That means that Grice-Mullen could be a factor in the return game - something the Dolphins seriously lack. If that's the case, his ability to return kicks could be what wins him that final spot.
At 6'2, 206 Julius Pruitt has impressive measurables - timing in the low 4.4s at his Pro Day one year ago. But he's more raw than RGM and Turner. Still, solid showings during these early offseason practices could just be what he needs to thrust himself onto the coaching staff's radar by the time training camp rolls around.
As you can see, this is a battle that will likely take all spring and summer to decide. But these early OTAs are a crucial time for these guys to catch the collective eyes of the staff.