ESPN recently put together a list of the top triplets for each NFL franchise, ranking them from the best to the worst. At the top of the list are the PIttsburgh Steelers, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le'Veon Bell, and wide receiver Antonio Bryant. Just behind the Steelers are the New England Patriots, with quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Julian Edelman, and tight end Rob Gronkowski. The top three are rounded out by the trio of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, wide receiver Jordy Nelson, and wide receiver Randall Cobb for the Green Bay Packers.
You have to scroll down to the 25th position to find the Miami Dolphins, with their trio of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and wide receiver DeVante Parker. Of the positioning, Bill Barnwell, ESPN's staff writer who put together the ranking, writes:
You would think this could be a set of triplets that looks better this time next year. That starts with Parker, who battled foot injuries for most of the 2015 season before showing what he could do. Over the final six games, Miami's first-round pick accrued 445 yards and three touchdowns; prorated over a full season, that yields 1,186 receiving yards and eight scores. Landry is already a fully formed No. 1 wideout, a target machine who played a role unlike any other receiver in football last season. The real growth may have to come from Tannehill, and while the hope is that new coach Adam Gase will unlock more of Tannehill's potential, he's not the first to try. Joe Philbin had an excellent reputation after working with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Mike Sherman was supposed to aid Tannehill in the pros after coaching him at Texas A&M. Tannehill lost faith in him. Bill Lazor got the most out of Tannehill in 2014, but by the time the Dolphins fired him in 2015, Tannehill seemed pleased to see him leave. If a Tannehill breakout is going to happen, it needs to happen soon.
Barnwell was pretty fair with the assessment; Miami's season will absolutely come down to Parker's development into the offense and Tannehill's development overall. The two are obviously not mutually exclusive, and both could very easily happen. Barnwell is also correct in stating that Tannehill's breakout has to happen soon if it going to happen, and Miami appears to have set him up for it to happen this year.
But, 25th in the ranking made me wonder where the rest of the AFC East was ranked. Of course, the Patriots are second in the NFL, as was mentioned, and they are clearly the class of the division right now. The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, however, should be somewhere around the Dolphins.
They are both ahead of the Dolphins. The Jets come in with the 24th ranked triplets with quarterback Geno Smith, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and wide receiver Eric Decker. The Bills are 21st, with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, running back LeSean McCoy, and wide receiver Sammy Watkins making up their triplets.
Is that the right rankings for the AFC East? I feel like Tannehill is ahead of Smith and Taylor, which should give Miami the nod there. Landry is a top tier wide receiver, but so are Brandon Marshall and Sammy Watkins (assuming he is healthy). Miami does still have some question marks with Parker, who is going into just his second year, where the Jets know what they have in Decker and the Bills know what they have in McCoy.
Maybe the rankings are correct, but we will leave that up to you to decide. Vote in the poll, and feel free to discuss your thinking in the comments.