A few position battles won’t be decided until the final roster cut down, and one of those battles is for the fourth and fifth wide receivers on the depth chart. Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, and Olamide Zaccheaus are clearly the top three players at the position after not playing in the preseason game against Miami. Still, there is a serious competition going on between Tajae Sharpe, Frank Darby, Christian Blake, and Chris Rowland for the final two roster spots — assuming the staff keeps five receivers.
It doesn’t happen very often, but there is a possibility that a draft pick doesn’t make the roster before taking a regular-season snap — Frank Darby. It isn’t an indictment of his ability, but to this point, Sharpe has been more consistent than Darby. Sharpe has been the one showing up throughout camp, and with a past connection to the staff, you have to like his chances at making the final 53-man roster, even if he dropped a potential touchdown from Feleipe Franks in the Dolphins preseason matchup.
Darby didn’t really show up in the team’s first preseason game against the Titans, but neither did any of the other receivers. The Dolphins game was more encouraging, but there were limited opportunities for the receivers. Darby caught both of his targets against Miami, reaching back and snagging a poorly thrown ball from Franks.
If Darby is cut, I believe it’ll be Christian Blake as the team’s fifth receiver. He consistently showed up in joint practices with the Dolphins, and many Miami beat reporters pointed out Blake quite a bit. To this point, I believe WR4/WR5 is a battle between Sharpe, Darby, and Blake. Still, Chris Rowland is certainly in the mix and brings special teams versatility. You never want to see a draft pick not even make the roster, but if the team keeps five receivers, Frank Darby is certainly battling for a spot as he sits on the bubble.
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