Panthers legend Scott Sattler has lashed Dolphins' coach Wayne Bennett for the club's lack of marquee signings following a winless pre-season challenge.
"There were some real marquee players on the market that they could have tried to entice," Sattler said on SEN Radio.
"But your first couple of years have got to be really important about future signings and bringing those marquee players to your club, so how you're seen from the outside from the first day is really important."
The lack of star talent was evident in last Sunday's trial game against the Titans where a full-strength Dolphins squad was thrashed 40 - 16 before home fans at Kayo Stadium.
"I've got to say, the Dolphins' recruitment has been some of the poorest recruitment I've seen in rugby league," Sattler continued.
"I mean, they've got great experienced forwards that are going to keep them in the battle defensively but where their points are going to come from, I don't know."
While Bennett has assembled a formidable (if aging) forward pack, the club's lack of a high-class spine has many wondering if they can be competitive in their inaugural year.
For comparison when the Titans debuted in 2007, they did so with a spine containing premiership winners such as Preston Campbell and Scott Prince, as well as recruiting Matt Rogers back from Rugby Union.
The Dolphins face a monumental hurdle in Round 1 when they face a star-studded Roosters lineup at Suncorp Stadium.