It’s that time of year again, where the great writers here at ThePhinsider bring back their annual look at the Miami Dolphins’ roster heading into training camp. We call this series “90-in-90” and over the next 90 days (give or take a few) we will take a look at each individual player on the roster. We will take into account what they did throughout the 2016 season, whether in the NFL or college and take a look how they might fair in 2017. In addition, we will discuss how each player might progress, regress and their odds of making the 53-man roster. So let’s get started.
In 2016, the Miami Dolphins used a large amount of draft capital to trade into the third-round (86 overall) and select wide receiver, Leonte Carroo . Minnesota received the Dolphins’ 2016 sixth-round draft pick, in addition to a third and fourth in 2017. This move wasn’t well received by fans, as the wide receiver position was loaded with talent. With a receiving core already consisting of Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills, what was to be expected from the rookie wide receiver? Very little.
After scoring 29 touchdowns in 30 collegiate games, Leonte Carroo had trouble making an impact in year one with the Dolphins. Yes, he had a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers, but overall he never really had the impact the team expected. Could 2017 be a different year, or is Carroo on the verge of being released by the team who traded up for him, one season ago?
Wide receiver, Leonte Carroo
I did a film breakdown on Leonte Carroo last season. The article can be found HERE
Before we go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room. Earlier last week, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that the Dolphins could part ways with the second-year wide receiver if he doesn’t improves this offseason.
Carroo was non existent in 2016, and recorded three receptions on 121 total snaps. Yes, he had a touchdown but overall his season was a huge disappointment. He must continue to improve as a route runner and become more knowledgeable in Gase’s offense. Last season, he seemed unprepared at times and fell behind Rashawn Scott on the team’s depth chart. It’s not Carroo’s fault the Dolphins paid the price they did on draft day, but his production will forever be overshadowed by the trade. Miami needs him to take the next step in 2017.
Why he might progress 2017
Hard to imagine a guy with Carroo’s talent not exceeding his 2016 production. When you look at what Laquon Treadwell did in Minnesota, you start to realize that rookie wide receivers don’t just come into the NFL and produce immediately. Even more so, with the talent surrounding him, it would’ve been hard for him to make an immediate impact. He should open the season as the Dolphins’ #4 wide receiver, and that’s all anyone can ask from him. Miami’s offense is loaded with playmakers at Tannehill’s disposal, and I expect Carroo to be much better this upcoming season.
Why he might regress 2017
As much as I like what Carroo did at Rutgers, I’m still waiting to see that same type of player. In college, he was able to score in a variety of ways: outworking DBs downfield, quick slants, and he even showed play-making ability in the screen game. It’s easier to do those things in college, but the talent is obviously there. If he falls down the depth chart in the offseason, there’s a good chance he sees the field even less in 2017. Miami has a loaded group of receivers, and guys like Jakeem Grant, Isaiah Ford, Rashawn Scott, and Damore’ea Stringfellow are eager to steal snaps from the third-round pick. Gase doesn’t choose favorites, so each receiver will have a fair opportunity to dethrone Carroo as the team’s #4 wide receiver.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
As stated previously, there’s a possibility that Carroo could be released with a poor showing this offseason. However, #sauces are everywhere and not all of them can be trusted. I believe the “reports” were released intentionally to light a fire under Carroo, and force him to take the next step as an NFL player. Regardless, Miami’s receiving core is loaded with talent and it would take a huge showing this offseason to have him move any further than #4 on the team’s depth chart. All the talent is there, and at just 23-years old, the sky is the limit for Carroo. I fully expect him to be on the team’s 53-man roster come September.