Heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, it appeared as though the Miami Dolphins were set at the wide receiver position. Yet, like most teams, Miami drafted for value rather than need. After selecting Kenyan Drake with their third-round pick; the Dolphins decided to move back into the third round, so the team could draft one of their top remaining players, Leonte Carroo. Miami traded their 2016 sixth-round pick, along with a 2017 third and a 2017 fourth-round pick in exchange for Minnesota’s third-round pick (86th overall). Here is what Leonte Carroo will bring to Adam Gase’s offense.
Who is Leonte Carroo?
Born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, Leonte Carroo attended Don Bosco Prep high school. Here, Carroo developed into a play-making wide receiver, achieving success in both football and track. After interest from several Big-Ten schools, he ultimately chose to stay in New Jersey, committing to Rutgers University. As a true freshman, Carroo played in all 13 games. Even though he did not record a reception as a freshman, Carroo was able to make an impact on special teams, with no play bigger than a blocked punt against Penn State. The best years of his collegiate career would soon follow.
In 2013, Carroo played in ten games for the Scarlet Knights. Despite starting in only three games as a sophomore, Carroo managed to make the most of each opportunity, recording 28 receptions for 478 yards and 9 touchdowns. His skill-set fit perfectly within Rutgers’ offense, which utilized his large frame and allowed him to beat opponent’s deep with his 4.52 speed.
As a Junior in 2014, Carroo had the best season of his collegiate career. He started in all 13 games, amassing 55 receptions for 1,086 yards and 10 touchdowns. The following year -just eight minutes into his senior season- Carroo broke Rutgers’ all-time receiver touchdown record. On September 13th, Rutgers suspended the play-making wide receiver indefinitely, due to a domestic-assault altercation that occurred after the team’s game vs Washington State. Charges were inevitably dropped, and Leonte Carroo was reinstated on October 7th. He played in eight games as a senior, recording 39 receptions, 809 yards and 10 touchdowns.
After a successful collegiate career, Carroo was ready for the NFL.
At 6’0, 211-pounds, Leonte Carroo has the build to be a productive wide receiver in the NFL. Here, he shows off his sure hands, in addition to his ability to make the catch, despite taking a big hit from the defender.
In this play, Carroo uses his quickness to beat the defender off the line. Once he gets to the outside, the quarterback puts the ball in the right spot, resulting in an easy touchdown.
Here, Carroo shows off his ability to take the top off a defense. Though he doesn’t possess truly elite speed, he takes advantage of his god-given talent, beating the defense deep with a well-executed double move. The quarterback makes a bad throw, severely under throwing Carroo, who makes a nice adjustment on the football for the score.
He may not be the biggest or strongest wide receiver in college football, but he showed the ability to outwork defenders throughout most of his collegiate career. In this play, the quarterback does a nice job of extending the play, eluding the blitz from the right side. As he extends the play, Carroo continues to get open down field. The quarterback throws up a prayer into double coverage.
Here's a closer look at the exceptional grab from Leonte Carroo, who wrestles the football away from the defender’s grasp.
Much like Jarvis Landry, Carroo has the ability to make plays from anywhere on the field. Though he played most of his career on the outside, his skill-set will allow the Dolphins to move him around. Here, he takes a well designed screen 57 yards for the touchdown.
Here, Carroo gets a free release off the line of scrimmage. He beats the defensive back with relative ease, before breaking towards the pylon for the easy touchdown.
In this play, Carroo gets behind the cornerback, who expected safety help over the top. The safety hesitates, leaving the cornerback alone on the outside. Carroo beats the defender, allowing the quarterback to hit him in stride, for the touchdown.
Carroo must continue to improve if he wants to have success at the next level. During his time at Rutgers, Carroo struggled playing against some of college football’s best cornerbacks. He had trouble creating separation at the top of his routes, and found himself struggling against press cornerbacks.
His off-the-field issues also raise a red flag. First, he was suspended two games for his altercation in a domestic assault case; the charges were later dropped. He also missed the first half of the team’s season opener, after being suspended for missing curfew.
Though these incidents are relatively minor compared to some of the other player’s in college football, without the right coaching and supporting cast, could become an issue throughout his professional career.
In this play, Carroo gets a free release off the line. Rather than looking back at the quarterback, he remains focused on the corner, resulting in a costly interception. Yes, the ball should have been thrown better, but Carroo has to do a better job of getting his head around.
Here, Carroo tries to make a spectacular one-handed catch, rather than using both hands to possess control. Though it is hard to tell whether or not the cornerback has his left hand occupied, I’d like to see Carroo do a better job of going up and high pointing the football.
Miami already had one of the league’s youngest, more talented wide receiver units in the NFL. With the addition of Carroo, the Dolphins add another play-making wide receiver to Gase’s high-octane offense. Like DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry, Carroo brings a unique skill-set to Miami, and can line up anywhere on the field. He’s fast (4.52), runs smooth, crisp routes and manages to catch everything within his grasp. Yes, Miami has a plethora of capable wide receivers, and Carroo might not see many reps during his rookie season. Soon, the Dolphins will have an important decision to make on Kenny Stills, and Jarvis Landry will be searching for a big-payday in the immediate future. Carroo is an added insurance policy, for a Dolphins receiving core that could see a minor overhaul over the next few years.
Whether or not he makes an impact in 2016, the Dolphins believe Carroo has the ability to be a dynamic receiver in the NFL.
All clips were taken from draftbreakdown.com
This article was written by Josh Houtz. Follow him on Twitter!