By: Carter Melrose
Famously on the TuAmigos Podcast, I coined this post-free-agency Dolphins receiving corp. as the “Broken Boys.” With peace and love, this was meant to serve as a direct homage to the new starting three pass catchers on the roster:
This talented trio have a blatant inability to stay healthy, clean, and on the field. Whether that be because of an ACL tear, a phantom and persistent hamstring strife, or a lackluster drug test result - the Dolphins may have the riskiest and most unreliable set of weapons in the entire NFL.
And for this reason, they cannot choose DeVonta Smith at 6.
But I’ll get back to that later.
First, let's look at the statistics - putting a heavy emphasis on the AFC East:
As a whole, the Dolphins WRs miss over 25% of their games; obviously not a problem to be taken lightly. Yet, for whatever reason, everybody seems to be ignoring its blatant existence.
Juxtaposing the insanely-high 26.9% up against Miami’s AFC rivals, the numbers aren’t even close. The Patriots, who have the second-least reliable receivers in the division, don’t even appear half as often on the injury report as the Miami trio.
But let's look closer - starting with the flashy new face:
Straight up, this guy misses a whopping 33.75% of his games. His most noteworthy absences come from a 2018 torn ACL and a 2020 PED suspension. Something the Dolphins organization noticeably has taken into account as they gave him a lowly 1 year, $10.6 million ‘prove it’ contract. But this knowledge still does nothing to heal or lick our gaping wounds after Dolphin’s Twitter clamored for Curtis Samuel all off-season (who only misses 17.12% of his games).
This will be hard to believe: Parker has missed the least games out of the starting three. He is absent for a team low 13.54% of his games - this percentage, however, does not account for the numerous times (and I mean numerous) Parker has played only a couple of snaps before inevitably suffering another hamstring flare.
You know what they say: “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, and three times is a pattern.” The ‘Unicorn’ has had two season ending injuries in his first two seasons in the NFL - placing him on the ‘coincidence’ level of this analogy. One more injury would make bingo - putting a definite end to his time in Miami (he has missed an eye popping 50% of his games).
My Case Against DeVonta Smith at 6
This past month, Smith’s most accurate weigh-in was made public. The Heisman winner, who was notably unguardable in the National Championship Game, clocked in at a rare 166-pounds.
A weight far too risky for my blood.
But as I say this next part, I want to clearly emphasize to my PhinManiacs compadre Hussam Patel, that I do not have any doubt DeVonta Smith is a talented prospect. The real problem with Smith at 6 arises when you take a second to add context:
Even when healthy, the Dolphin’s WR room are lacking a true number 1 guy; and, yes, that could be Smith.
But I’ll leave you with this Dolphins nation:
It's just too risky to nab this feather-light wide receiver at 6 - knowing full well that you are adding him to the most unreliable trio in the AFC East.