We get back to our 90-in-90 series this morning, returning to our player-by-player breakdown of the Miami Dolphins’ roster. Each year, we run this series of articles, workin through the 90-man roster for the Dolphins in (around) 90-days. We randomly pick one player from the roster each day, taking a closer look at that one player.
Each post starts with a look at how the player did in the preceding season, either with Miami, with their former team, or in college. Then we take a look at reasons why the player could progress or why they could regress. The article then closes with the odds that the player is on the 53-man regular season roster for Miami when final roster cuts are made. So far this year, we have taken a look at 16 players, wide receiver Leonte Carroo, punter Matt Haack, safety T.J. McDonald, running back Buddy Howell, wide receiver DeVante Parker, defensive end William Hayes, wide receiver Isaiah Ford, safety/cornerback Walt Aikens, defensive end Claudy Mathieu, linebacker Kiko Alonso, cornerback Xavien Howard, long snapper Lucas Gravelle, wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end A.J. Derby, running back Frank Gore, and defensive tackle Gabe Wright. Today, we take a look at wide receiver Kenny Stills.
The 2017 league year started with Stills signing a four-year contract extension with the Dolphins, who had traded for Stills in the 2015 offseason from the New Orleans Saints. During 2017, Stills caught 58 passes for 847 yards with six touchdowns. He was second on the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns behind Jarvis Landry, and second in yards-per-reception at 14.6, trailing just Jakeem Grant’s 15.6 on 13 receptions.
Why he will progress
Without Landry, the Dolphins should be spreading the ball around more this season, which could open up even more targets for Stills. He already has a relationship with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, so the two of them should be able to quickly get on the same page. Tannehill is also a better quarterback than Jay Cutler and Matt Moore were for the team last year, which should improve the play of all the receivers. In 2016, with Tannehill under center, Stills averaged 17.3 yards-per-reception, though it was only on 42 catches. He should be able to see his average move back up from the 14.6 he had last year.
Why he will regress
The lack of Landry could also have impacts on a player like Stills. If DeVante Parker does not become a “number one” receiver, the top coverage players from opposing defenses will likely rotate to Stills, making it harder for him to get open. The Dolphins have talked a lot this offseason of how they want to distribute the ball more evenly this season than in the past, so there is a chance Stills’ receptions go down as more players touch the ball.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Stills is a lock to be a starter this year. He could end up leading the team in receptions and he will be able to use his speed to continue to take the top off defenses.