While it’s clear Devante Parker and Preston Williams are the Dolphins’ No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers heading into the 2020 season, there’s a hidden gem waiting to make noise.
Gary Jennings, a former West Virginia standout and 2019 fourth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, has all the attributes to become a key contributor in year two.
Jennings, 27, was claimed off waivers by Miami after the Seahawks let him go eight games into his rookie campaign. And while his tenure in Seattle may have not panned out, his play certainly wasn’t the reason why, as he was unable to play in a single game due to a hamstring injury.
In Miami, the 6-foot-1, 216-pound receiver caught the injury bug again and landed on the injured reserve. The rookie hurt his shoulder in his first regular-season appearance, finishing with one snap on offense and eight on special teams.
So where’s the potential in Jennings? Speed.
Jennings smoked defenders left and right throughout his four-year career at West Virginia, catching 168 passes for 2,294 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Dolphins are in need of a dynamic slot receiver, and Jennings was just that as a senior, recording 13 touchdowns.
He also shined at the Senior Bowl, where he was recorded sprinting at 21.5 miles per hour, which made him the fastest wide receiver at the showcase. During the game, he caught two passes for 64 yards, which included a 54-yard reception and a 10-yard touchdown catch.
He was also a standout at the NFL Combine, clocking a 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash, a 37″-inch vertical jump, and bench pressed 225-pounds 20 times.
What does this mean? Miami has a playmaker with all the physical attributes ready to battle for reps on the slot. While this may have been an odd offseason, Jennings has had an entire offseason to learn the Dolphins’ playbook and develop chemistry with the future of the franchise.
That’s right. According to the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson, Jennings and rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa have been working out together this offseason.
Jennings heads into the second year of his 4-year, $3.23 million contract, in which he’ll make $625,000 in 2020. His payout adds $175,000 ($850,000) in 2021 and another $115,000 ($965,000), which means he’ll have to perform and compete for a roster spot in Miami’s relatively deep wide receiver corps in order to stick around.
Only time will tell what type of player Gary Jennings truly is, but there’s no doubt that he has the talent and traits to forge a long-term role with the Dolphins.