As we wait to see how the Miami Dolphins‘ new GM Dennis Hickey attacks this offseason, let’s continue our look back on the season that was by ranking the team’s top 20 players of 2013. Today, we’ll look at player No. 7, wide receiver Brian Hartline.
Receiving yards: 1,016
Yards per catch: 13.4
Pro Football Focus breakdown
Position rank: 18 of 111
Receiving rank: 26 of 111
Snaps played: 922
Yards after catch: 309
Why he’s No. 7
After Hartline posted his first 1,000-yard receiving season in 2012, many labeled his performance a fluke, citing that he was “force-fed” as a the offense’s no. 1 receiver. Despite the addition of Mike Wallace in 2013, who led all Dolphins pass catchers with 137 targets, Hartline surpassed the 1,000-yard milestone for the second consecutive year. Hartline also posted a career-high in receptions with 76 and touchdowns with four, which were more touchdowns than he accumulated during his previous three seasons combined.
It was the former fourth-round pick’s best year as a pro. Utilizing sneaky speed, sure hands, sharp route-running and remarkable flexibility and awareness near the sideline, Hartline has been quarterback Ryan Tannehill‘s most reliable receiver. The two have great chemistry together, which makes Hartline one of the offense’s most valuable players.
Why he’s not higher
Hartline makes the Dolphins’ offense better. That isn’t debatable, but he’s probably maxed out his potential. He just doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. Hartline doesn’t have the speed to consistently separate from coverage, or the size and athletic ability to be much of a force in the red zone. He’s a solid player and a receiver Tannehill has a great deal of comfort targeting in key spots, but he’s not a true game-changer.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.