This off-season there has been a lot of debate about Miami’s receiving core, specifically one of the longest lasting players on the Dolphins, Brian Hartline.
Hartline has been a fan favorite for the last few years, putting up back to back 1000 yard seasons and doubled his touchdown total from last year (2 to 4). Hartline had a career high in both Targets and receptions while is average yards per reception was a career low.
Before the last two years, Hartline was a guy you would see wide open for 20 yards or so while teams focused on Brandon Marshall, the last couple years he has turned into a first down guru, in the last two seasons, 101 of his 150 receptions went for first downs.
He was 21st in receiving first downs, 17 out of first place, with all the names in front of him being good or great receivers in the NFL, he caught about 60% of the balls thrown his way. Hartline was tied for 55th in the league in YaC and dropped 5 passes in 2013.
Hartline has the making of a second or third wide receiver on almost every team. But as we saw with Riley Cooper getting $5 million from the Eagles, sometimes you have to pay to keep your own guys who work in your own system. Hartline is a system guy who has chemistry with Tannehill, it was necessary to keep him.Can Hartline be “the guy” in an offense? The Dolphins lost 6 out of 8 games where Hartline had an average or poor game, while winning 6 out of 8 games where he had a positive Profootball rating.
While Hartline is a good receiver for the Dolphins, he isn’t great. He is a top 50 receiver who has found a system that can make him successful, which is what matters the most. Hartline does need to continue to improve in his 5th year if he wants to become a good receiver, focusing on making his own plays, not relying on Tannehill to throw the Dolphins into the endzone.