MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins knew who their Nos. 1 and 2 wide receivers would be in 2023 the day the 2022 season ended.
But beyond that, it’s been a true open competition. Ahead of Friday’s eighth training camp session of the summer, position coach Wes Welker handicapped the battle for the Dolphins’ WR3.
Who Will Emerge as the Miami Dolphins’ WR3?
There are five realistic options for the third wide receiver spot. They are, in order of where they stand based on PFN’s camp observations through the team’s first seven practices:
Cedrick Wilson Jr., Braxton Berrios, Erik Ezukanma, Robbie Chosen, and River Cracraft.
During his first media availability since the spring, Welker was asked at length about the group — collectively and individually — and whether the Dolphins have enough size in the red zone to make up for the loss of receiving tight end Mike Gesicki.
“It’s a battle,” Welker said of the WR3 competition. “I think we have a lot of depth in our room, and guys are fighting for that third spot. There’s a bunch of guys that have different skill sets, and we’re still trying to figure out who’s going to kind of separate themselves as camp goes on.”
- Welker on Wilson: [With] his size and his hands, and he’s a very smooth route runner, he presents problems for defensive backs. He’s the type of guy that’s never really covered just because he has really good body control and he has really good hands. And so any time that ball’s in the air, you know, just being really consistent with, you know, making those balls where they’re 80-20 or whatever they are, and coming down with some of those plays when he doesn’t have the exact separation.”
- Welker on Berrios: “Braxton is doing an unbelievable job. He has good speed. He has a lot of football knowledge. You know, can get in and out of breaks. He’s been doing really well out there and just another guy that can separate and get edges and also has some speed to take to the house if the opportunity presents itself.”
- Welker on Chosen: “I think the opportunities will present itself as camp kind of goes on. You know, it’s always tough when you’re talking about reps and ‘All right, we got to get Jalen on this and we got to get Braylon Sanders on that,’ or you know, whoever it is as far as those deep threats. So he’s actually been going deep. We just haven’t thrown it yet. I know you’re looking for the flash plays of getting it, but he’s been doing some really good things, and when he’s gotten his opportunities, he’s done a nice job. The ball just hadn’t necessarily came his way yet. And, you know, sometimes that happens, you just got to stay with it and stay patient, and those targets will come.”
- Welker on Ezukanma: “Erik can definitely help us this year. I mean, last year, it was just hard getting him lined up. And now, this year, we’re able to, we’re lined up, and now we can start to get into the details of the offense and how we need to do everything. There’s still a lot of work to be done. But you know, the fact that he’s lining up right and doing the right things and listening to the coaching and all those different things, he’s progressing really well and leaps and bounds better than what he was last year.”
- Welker on the need for size near the goal line: “We could use our quick fast guys or to separate or, you know, sometimes it calls for a bigger target depending on the personnel we’re going against and all those different things. And the scheme that they have. Are they more of a man-bump-type team? Are they more zone? Like there’s so many variables that kind of go into that, that, you know, it’s tough to say who it’s going to be week to week. But yeah, absolutely. Any time you have a bigger guy, a bigger target that has really good hands, you know, you constantly want to use them in the red zone because he can body people up and use his size and hands and, and all those different things, to score.”
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