Your first round pick is ... a return specialist
But during this offseason the team showed its hand on a strategy for breaking in Ginn that may continue through training camp -- or at least the early part of camp.
Seems Ginn is a punt and kickoff return specialist. No more, no less. That's it for now.
“We have a plan and that starts as a punt returner and a kick returner and then taking every day one day at a time," Coach Cam Cameron said this week. "...Then you go through training camp and you just grind away and grind away and grind away. I don’t know any other way, I think we made some progress as a punt and kick returner for sure.”
That is not a problem if you believe the Dolphins did right in using their first-rounder on a returner.
But what Cameron is not telling you is that Ginn is simply not yet ready to be an NFL-caliber receiver. His routes are not crisp, he obviously doesn't know the playbook (which is expected), and he has NO CLUE how to get off the line of scrimmage against press coverage.
It will take some time before all of that sinks in for the rookie. At best, it will be late in the season before Ginn starts to make a mark at receiver. More likely it will take him his entire rookie season to figure it out and we'll have to check back with him next year at WR.
The guy is Desmond Howard, a speedy, smallish, collegiate playmaker whose skills translated from the Big 10 to the NFL on special teams but not so as a receiver. I cringed, by the way, when Cameron mentioned Ginn and Howard in the same breath recently.
Howard was an OK player, but if I remember my draft history correctly, he was a bust because he was taken with the No. 4 overall selection. That is way overpaying for a special teams guy.
The Dolphins can take solace that they have in Ginn a player that will contribute immediately. Maybe the guy can actually a break a couple this year on special teams. But unless he turns into the second coming of Devin Hester, folks will be wondering how soon Miami will get more out of Ginn to live up to his draft pedigree.
And this is remembering that Chicago did not need a first round pick to take Hester.
So here's hoping Ginn Jr. overcomes his growing pains and learns to be a top receiver sooner rather than later. Because even the No. 9 overall selection is too high a price to pay for a special teams player.