2022 Dolphins positional preview: Depth is a key difference at WR – Dolphins Wire

The Miami Dolphins’ offseason is weeks away from coming to an end, as training camp is set to start at the end of July. From there, the team will be practicing on campus against each other and other teams before the start of the regular season.
This gives us some time to talk about the state of the roster before the first camp of the Mike McDaniel era begins. After discussing quarterbacks and running backs earlier in the week, today we’ll take a look at a wide receiver group that has certainly gotten a lot better since Miami last took the field.
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Miami sent five picks to Kansas City in exchange for Hill before giving him an extension worth $120 million, so he’s obviously a big part of their plans on offense. Hill’s versatility and superstar playmaking ability should allow him to easily slide into the top receiver role and bring the offense to the next level.
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Waddle had an impressive rookie season in 2021, as he broke the NFL’s rookie record for receptions and Miami’s rookie record for receiving yards. He has some similar traits to Hill, but being able to use two of them on the field at the same time will be a treat for McDaniel and company.
He’s the clear-cut second-best receiver out there, but with Hill’s acquisition, his numbers probably won’t reach the heights that they did in 2021, and that’s OK.
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The Dolphins’ secret weapon this season could be Wilson. The former Boise State wideout took a bit of a step last year with the Dallas Cowboys with Amari Cooper, Ceedee Lamb and Michael Gallup all missing time at different points in the season.
Now, in Miami, he’s expected to slide in as the third receiver and put up some similar numbers that he did in 2021 (45 receptions for 602 yards and six touchdowns). With all of the other weapons on the field, Wilson may just be able to sneak away from some of the opposing teams’ coverages.
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Ezukanma was selected in the fourth round of this year’s draft out of Texas Tech, and he joins a room coached by a former Red Raider in Wes Welker. He led his team in 2021 in receiving, recording 48 catches for 706 yards and four touchdowns while providing a bit on the ground as well.
With the three names ahead of him on the depth chart and his raw athleticism that needs to be refined a bit, his first year in the league will likely be a learning year, for the most part. If the Dolphins get 25 catches out of him in 2022, that would be a great season.
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Bowden probably has the widest range of outcomes in 2022. Since entering the league in 2020, he’s played in just 10 games, all of which came in his rookie season. If he can get healthy for the season, the sky is the limit for what he can do athletically.
Some have said he could be Miami’s Deebo Samuel while others believe there’s a chance he doesn’t make the roster. The prospects of what Bowden can be are really all over the place.
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Like Bowden, Williams has yet to live up to his potential due to some injuries in his career. Miami opted to re-sign him as a restricted free agent this offseason, despite the fact that he’s played in just eight games in each of his first three seasons.
Williams should be a big target for Tua Tagovailoa to feel comfortable throwing to in any part of the field, especially the red zone. However, that hasn’t happened yet. If he doesn’t prove that he belongs on the field, there’s a real chance that Williams doesn’t make the roster.
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Sherfield got the opportunity to work under McDaniel last season with the 49ers, and he found the end zone for just the second time in his career. His special teams contributions could mean a fair amount to this coaching staff, but he has an uphill battle to make the roster.
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Cracraft was one of the first signings that the Dolphins made after hiring McDaniel this offseason. The wideout has credited his head coach for being an extremely bright and relatable guy who can get the best out of his players.
Since entering the league in 2018, Cracraft has been a fringe roster piece in Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Maybe that familiarity with the system helps him out, but it’s more likely that he’ll end up on the practice squad or with another team.
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As an undrafted free agent this year, Sanders has a lot he needs to do if he wants to stick around in Miami. If he can show off the speed and prove that he can stay healthy, he might have a shot.
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Core signed with the Dolphins practice squad back in November 2021. He was never called up to the active roster. He’s a long shot to make the roster, but he could wind up back on the practice squad again.
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Back in January, the Dolphins signed Dedmon after a successful few seasons in the Candian Football League. Dedmon led the CFL in return touchdowns, punt return average and kick return average in 2021. If Miami wants to keep the return duties away from Hill, Waddle and Jevon Holland, they might keep Dedmon around.
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Miami had no contributor or coaches make the semifinalist list.
It’s not going to be easy for Miami’s defenses.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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