Leonte Carroo Is Not a First-Year Guarantee for the Dolphins
If there's one thing Leonte Carroo showed consistnetly in his college career, it was big-play ability.
23.8 percent of his 122 college receptions went for touchdowns (that's 29 touchdowns in 30 games), and he averaged 19.5 yards per reception, a stat that he improved in each year at Rutgers, culminating with a huge 20.7 yards per reception in his senior year.
As teams constantly strive to add dynamic playmakers, it's easy to see why The Dolphins would be impressed with Carroo's production, and why they took him in the third round, with the 86th overall pick.
Matt Harmon of NFL.com tracked the production of this year's top receiver prospects in a project called Reception Perception, which gives a very in-depth view into how the receivers in the class fared in a variety of situations. You owe it to yourself to peruse the whole thing, but here are some relevant notes pertaining to Carroo:
His 66.3 percent success rate versus man coverage was just above average for the 21 receivers tracked, his 74.3 percent success rate versus zone was just below average, and he ranked fifth in the group with a 71.1 percent success rate versus press coverage. He also ranked ninth with a 63.6 percent contested catch rate.
He was asked to run a very balanced route tree in college, which should be cause for some optimism that his transition to the NFL may be easier than that of a receiver who did most of their damage on only one or two different routes.
There's some room for concern with Carroo's measurables, though, and here's a look at how he measures up, courtesy of MockDraftable .
Nothing jumps out as particularly positive here, but there also aren't any huge red flags. With these numbers, he draws a 90-plus percent similarity rating with the following receivers:
|Player||Similarity||Career Receiving Yards|
Obviously Reggie Wayne is an encouraging comparison, but the rest are largely underwhelming. Of course, this isn't to say that these comparisons are some sort of death sentence for Carroo, but when you combine the way his measurables stack up with the fact that he wasn't particularly effective at creating separation against either man or zone coverage in college, and there's a lot of reason to be concerned about Carroo.
Carroo in Miami
Parker and now-Titan Rishard Matthews were the only Dolphins receivers to finish 2015 better than league-average in our Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target metric and, as a team, Miami ranked 20th in schedule-adjusted Passing NEP per play (you can read about NEP in our glossary).
It's not surprising that the Dolphins added a receiver, especially with Matthews gone, but it's far from a guarantee that Carroo steps in and makes an impact. His college production is very encouraging, but his measurables and his only average success rate against both man and zone coverage leave a lot of room to be skeptical.
To leave Dolphins fans with a bit of an optimistic taste in their mouth, here's a look at that big play ability Carroo is so lauded for: