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Dolphins wide receivers: Better, worse, or same in 2016?

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A position by position look at the Miami Dolphins’ roster, and whether the team is better, worse, or the same as the 2015 roster.

Indianapolis Colts v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Today continues a series of articles taking a look at the 2016 Miami Dolphins’ roster, and comparing it to the 2015 roster. The ultimate goal is to decide whether each position has gotten better, worse, or stayed the same from last year to this year. The list looks solely at the names on the roster, and whether the team has improved or not.

We have already taken a look at the quarterback position, as well as yesterday’s look at the running backs group. Today, we move to the wide receivers.

Wide receivers

Jarvis Landry
DeVante Parker
Kenny Stills
Leonte Carroo
Matt Hazel
Jakeem Grant
Griff Whalen
Rashawn Scott
Tyler Murphy
Brandon Shippen
A.J. Cruz

Analysis

The team will not be keeping 11 wide receivers, with about half of the guys listed above being cut at some point - counting one or two who could end up being on the practice squad. The better, worse, or same really comes down to the top of the roster, where the team has Landry, Parker, and Stills, with Carroo, Hazel, Grant, and Whalen battling for the rest of the depth chart. Comparing to last year’s depth chart, the Dolphins replaced Greg Jennings in the starting lineup with Parker, who was fifth on the depth chart at the start of the season after foot surgery in June sidelined him for the summer of his rookie season. The fourth position belonged to Rishard Matthews last season who left via free agency this year, but now appears to belong to Carroo, though Hazel, Grant, and Whalen could all earn the job and see plenty of playing time.

Landry earned his first Pro Bowl selection last year and is positioned to be one of the top receivers in the league, especially out of the slot. Parker should see a better 2016 than his 2015, if simply because he should play the entire year at full strength. Stills will still provide a deep threat for the offense, and has the quickness and versatility Miami wants from their wide receivers. Carroo and Grant will bring additional depth and, especially in Grant’s case, a fast weapon to be able to create mismatches.

This basically comes down to an argument of Parker versus Jennings as a starter and Carroo, Hazel, Grant, and Whalen versus Matthews, Hazel, Chistion Jones, and Damarr Aultman as the depth options.

Better, Worse, Same

Better. In 16 games played, Jennings started 5 games and caught 19 passes for 208 yards with a touchdown. Parker played 15 games with 4 starts, catching 26 passes for 494 yards with three touchdowns. That clearly pushes Parker - who did assume the starting duties over Jennings last year - ahead of Jennings in this comparison. Matthews makes the depth players probably a little better than this year’s group, simply because Carroo and Grant are both rookies, but Whalen has a chance to make the team, while Aultman was moved to cornerback this year before being waived ahead of the Draft.