Do the Dolphins have a new No. 1 receiver?
Former Dolphins Kim Bokamper and Joe Rose, both now South Florida broadcasters, could hardly contain their praise for Preston Williams in a radio interview Thursday. Williams, an UDFA rookie out of Colorado State, was spectacular in preseason Week 1 against the Falcons. But Bokamper and Rose were just as impressed with how Williams has performed in camp, agreeing that he's clearly been the best Dolphins receiver, if not their best player, so far.
Granted, it's been a long time since the Dolphins have had a true No. 1 receiver. DeVante Parker has been an underachiever for three seasons since being drafted 14th overall in the 2015 draft, and Kenny Stills has made more headlines for his social-justice stances and recent criticism of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross than his play. He's caught only 259 of 446 targets in six NFL seasons.
Williams is fast, aggressive, hungry and a 6-foot-4 target. He's also a very different kind of guy for an NFL player, as the part-time runway model and aspiring fashion designer told the Palm Beach Post.
It's hard to imagine an undrafted rookie making No. 1 impact, but those are the kinds of possibilities that keep this time of year interesting.
Titans wideout A.J. Brown started making an impact this week during high visibility workouts with the Patriots. Drafted 51st overall out of Ole Miss in April, Brown could bring the Titans more big-play juice. He created some buzz by not only making plays in the passing game in the two-team scrimmages but also by taking on Patriots shutdown corner Stephon Gilmore in a fight.
Among the problems in Fantasy would seem to be this: Even if Brown is a standout, where is the target volume to feed Corey Davis, Delanie Walker, Taywan Taylor, Brown and Dion Lewis in what has been a pedestrian, low-volume passing attack? Maybe if Marcus Mariota has the kind of passer breakout we're projecting for his 2015 draft-mate Jameis Winston? Hey, it's possible. Barely. You're saying there's a chance.
Speaking of quarterbacks, this could be the last season for Andy Dalton as the Bengals franchise quarterback. The Red Rifle turns 32 in October and has been the starter in Cincy since being drafted 35th overall in 2011. The Bengals reached the playoffs in Dalton's first five NFL seasons but were eliminated each time in the wild-card round.
Rookie Ryan Finley's nice debut in Week 1 against the Chiefs has raised some speculation that the Bengals may have found their next quarterback in the fourth round of the April draft out of N.C. State. Finley wasn't facing starting defenders, but still impressed with his pocket presence.
And if Dalton moves on, he'll surely find tons of interest in a league without enough passers to go around. In Fantasy, Dalton generally only gets drafted in 2QB leagues these days.
Another rookie passer who bears watching going into the Patriots' Week 2 clash with the Titans is Jarrett Stidham, drafted 133rd overall in April out of Auburn. He impressed with his performance against Lions backups in Week 1, and has some talking him up as the latest possible successor to Tom Brady (drafted 199th overall in 2000) if TB12 ever walks away.
Premature? Wildly so, but Stidham could make the conversation more interesting if he can string together a second strong effort Saturday night in Tennessee.
But it's amazing how fast bandwagons can load and unload for even the highest ranked rookie quarterbacks. Ask Kyler Murray.