Pre-Camp Analysis: Wide Receivers

As we start heading closer to the 2007 training camp, we break down the Dolphins position by position, analyzing what they did in the offseason and what to expect in the upcoming season. We begin our series with a look at the wide receivers.

Who's new: David Sutton (rookie free agent), Kerry Reed (rookie free agent), Az-Zahir Hakim (UFA, San Diego), P.K. Sam (free agent), Kelly Campbell (free agent), Ted Ginn Jr. (draft), Michael Malone (rookie free agent)

Who's gone: Wes Welker (trade, New England), Marcus Vick (released)

Who's back: Derek Hagan, Chris Chambers, Marty Booker

What happened in the offseason: The big move clearly was the selection of Ted Ginn Jr. in the first round of the draft, although his biggest contribution as a rookie probably will come as a kick returner. Nonetheless, Ginn brings the kind of speed the Dolphins have been lacking at wideout. So does Kelly Campbell, who is being given another look after a nagging quad injury gave him no shot to make the roster last summer. The other addition of note was veteran Az-Zahir Hakim, who had some big years in St. Louis as a third receiver. The Dolphins also lost dependable Wes Welker when the Patriots signed him to an offer sheet that was too expensive for the Dolphins, who then turned around and simply traded him to get an extra seventh-round pick in addition to the second-rounder they would have gotten for not matching.

What to expect: Because of the issues at quarterback, it's been difficult for the Dolphins wide receivers to really produce in recent years, although both Chris Chambers and Marty Booker had good years in 2005. Both, however, saw their production dip in 2006 and the Dolphins badly need for both to rebound. It's not clear exactly how much playing time Ginn will get on offense as a rookie, but he will be a factor because his big-play capability should help open up the offense. If Campbell can stay healthy, he could make a big difference as well. Meanwhile, this could be a make-or-break season for Derek Hagan, who dropped too many passes as a rookie in 2006.

What we think: The Welker trade wasn't very popular because he was the Dolphins' best receiver last year, but as we've said ad nauseum, the Dolphins got a great return for a guy who is a complementary player. Whoever replaces Welker won't be nearly as dependable, but will be a lot more explosive, and that's something this offense really needs. Until Ginn or Campbell emerges as a go-to deep threat, this looks like an average wide receiver corps at best, but the Dolphins also could do worse than Chambers and Booker as starters.

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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and To read him every day, visit and become a Miami Dolphins insider.