The Miami Dolphins selected wide receiver Leonte Carroo in the third round. How good can he be in the NFL?
The Miami Dolphins front office was so enamored with Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo that the franchise traded a large sum to acquire his services.
To get the wide receiver that they rated as the second-best at his position, the Dolphins traded three picks, the team’s sixth round pick (186) this year and the franchise’s third- and fourth-round pick in 2017 to the Minnesota Vikings to acquire the 86th overall pick.
While the Dolphins had Carroo rated as the second best receiver in the draft, he was the ninth receiver selected.
For Carroo, this adds a chip on his shoulder, as he told ESPN he sees himself as the best receiver in the class.
"“There were, I think, nine receivers that were drafted ahead of me,” Carroo said. “(With) what I accomplished in college, I felt like I was the best receiver in this draft class.”"
In his Rutgers career, Carroo only had three drops to his name. He caught 122 passes for 2,373 yards and 29 touchdowns during his four seasons, averaging 19.5 yards per reception during his career with the Rutger Knights. So Carroo’s confidence in himself is not unfounded.
In that same ESPN article linked above, here is Carroo’s self scouting report on his game.
"“[I’m] kind of a lot like Jarvis, I’m a very physical receiver but I’m also fast for my size,” Carroo said. “I had three career drops in my whole entire career, so I catch the ball very well. That’s what I look to do — stretch the field; and, if necessary, I can be in the slot and catch the underneath routes as well.”"
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Carroo spent time this off-season with Jarvis Landry to work on his game. As an established player that has earned a lot of acclaim for his toughness, Landry is a good mentor to help Carroo establish himself as an NFL receiver.
To begin the 2016 NFL season, Carroo will be behind Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills, but has an outside shot to steal time from Stills, who could be out of the door from Miami after the season anyways.
Landry entered the NFL in a somewhat similar situation. Landry was considered the fourth receiver coming into training camp, behind Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson. Landry ended up stealing snaps by the end of the season from Hartline and Gibson.
Carroo will be entering behind more talented receivers than the core that was in place in 2014, but he has a decent shot to get involved in his rookie season, especially if he can prove to catch the ball consistently, as he did in college.
Dolphin receivers struggled last season with drops, as pointed out by Derrik Klassen of QB Mecca.
"They were consistently dropping passes that they should not have. Cian Fahey of Football Guys did an extensive study of quarterback play in 2015, part of which revealed the incompetency of Miami’s skill players. Fahey had Tannehill’s receivers with 63 Failed Receptions, tying Cam Newton for 2nd in total Failed Receptions and placing 4th in Failed Reception Rate (one Failed Reception per 9.3 attempts)."
Pro Football Focus was extremely high on Carroo entering the draft process, as they gave him the highest score among wide receivers, not only in the 2016 draft, but in any draft between 2000-2013. They also rated him as the fourth best WR in the 2016 draft overall.
"Leonte Carroo tops the 2016 class with a robust model prediction of 0.71. For context, this score would place Carroo in the top-10 of the entire 2000-2013 data set used to train and test the model, right between first-round picks Dez Bryant and Lee Evans. Carroo has a dominant career market share, in the top-5 of the 2016 class. In addition, the model likes his high touchdown totals, efficiently produced off relatively few receptions."
PFF, like the Miami Dolphins, are really high on Leonte Carroo. This is for good reason as well, as Carroo had a strong college career with the Rutgers. He has all the talent in the world to succeed at the next level.
The Miami Dolphins believe they got a steal with Leonte Carroo falling to them in the third round. He’ll have the chance to prove them right in 2016 and for years to come as he joins a talented Dolphins receiver core.