The Miami Dolphins broad receivers have earned a large number of consideration early in the 2022 NFL season as a result of the spectacular performances of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. But a fascinating sub-plot on the place has concerned a rookie draft select and a former school unfastened agent.
Offseason acquisition River Cracraft performed a job in the 42-38 comeback victory towards the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday with a 2-yard landing catch that began the scoring in the Dolphins’ 28-point fourth quarter.
That he was once in the sport in the primary position as a substitute of rookie fourth-round select Erik Ezukanma was once noteworthy. And that it was once the second one time in two video games that had took place was once much more noteworthy.
Cracraft did not make the Dolphins’ preliminary 53-player roster when the Dolphins determined to stay 5 broad receivers at the roster, with Ezukanma becoming a member of Hill Waddle, Trent Sherfield and Cedrick Wilson Jr., however he was once increased from the observe squad towards each the New England Patriots and the Ravens.
In essence, the Dolphins have determined to love Cracraft extra right now although it was once Ezukanma they selected to stay because the 5th broad receiver.
WHY ERIK EZUKANMA HAS BEEN INACTIVE
Wide receivers trainer Wes Welker shed some mild at the resolution to make Ezukanma inactive for every of the primary two video games.
“For rookie receivers in the league, it is very tough,” Welker said Thursday. “And we have a very talented room with a bunch of guys that are very, very detailed. At the end of the day, when you’re talking about fourth, fifth, sixth receivers on your roster, you’ve got to be at play all three positions. You don’t know when somebody’s going go down, you don’t know when somebody’s going to get tired, you don’t know when somebody needs an IV in the third quarter. You don’t know all of those different things and be able to plug and play guys, and not lose a beat, not sit there and be nervous as a coach or anything else.
“It’s a huge learning process being able to learn all these different positions week in, week out. It’s not the same plays every week like at Texas Tech. It’s not hand signals on the sideline. These are long calls. It’s a process. He’s preparing as if he’s playing and he needs to continue to do that. I think over time, we know what kind of talent he is. But we’ve got to keep everybody accountable when it comes to out there on the field. I and our whole staff can’t have that knot in your stomach when he’s out there and say, is he going to do the right thing? Is he lined up in the right spot? Do we need to call a timeout? All those things are so critical that he is starting to understand.
“It’s not just being more talented. Everybody’s talented. But it’s all about the details and being on point with every single play that you’re out there because one MA (missed assignment) or anything out there can be the difference between winning and losing and right now, that’s just not something that we’re willing to do right now. He’ll get there. He just needs to continue to put in the work and understand that it is a process and when he’s ready, we’ll know he’s ready. We love his skill set. We love the way he’s going about his business. But it does take time. I’ve gone through it with a lot of rookies who have had to play too early and it’s hard. It is really tough. It’s hard on a coach. It’s hard on a staff. It’s hard on the player. And right now, we don’t have to do that. So we’re not going to do that until we feel comfortable with him being able to execute the way we need him to execute.”
Without query, Ezukanma has an intriguing talent set and his time will come.
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CRACRAFT COMING THROUGH FOR THE DOLPHINS
In the interim, the Dolphins obviously have consider in Cracraft — although they’re going to have a choice to make with him lovely quickly.
Based at the new 2022 observe squad laws, any participant may also be increased for a normal season recreation as much as thrice in the common season, which means that the Dolphins may have Cracraft just one extra time until they come to a decision to signal him to the lively roster.
Cracraft joined the Dolphins after he seemed in 24 video games with the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers over the last 4 seasons, however his landing towards Baltimore was once the primary of his NFL profession.
“It’s so cool for River,” Welker said. “I’ve been really proud of him and the work that he’s put in. It was funny in the preseason, that was his first touchdown in six years. And so to have a touchdown like that in a critical moment in such a big game and the win that we had was such a cool moment for him. So I’m just really happy for him and the work that he’s put in. To finally get that opportunity was such a cool thing, just to kind of see over these past few years of just the work he’s put in and how valuable he’s been to our team.
“I think it just has to do with his work ethic and how much time — you can tell he thinks about football all the time. On his off days, he’s always up here, always doing extra, after practice, even during the spring and all those different things. It all adds up. To me, it’s just the work that he’s put in and he listens and he’s on time. He just does everything right, the way you want a professional athlete to go about his business. So I’m really, really happy for him and I hope he continues to go down that path, which I know he will.”
For Cracraft, it is all about doing what is requested of him when it is requested of him and hoping for an increasing number of alternatives.
“I pride myself on responsibility and knowing my assignments and all that,” Cracraft stated, “and to have them show the trust back and by having me up means a lot to me and just makes me feel confident that I’m doing the right stuff right now and I just got to keep stacking the days.
“It’s simply a kick off point. I simply wish to stay taking it week by way of week, daily and with a bit of luck proceed to be up and assist the staff in no matter position this is.”