2015 Dolphins grades: Jay Ajayi


After missing the first eight weeks of the season with a rib injury, Miami Dolphins rookie Jay Ajayi returned to the field and made a very solid impression.

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Jay Ajayi – running back

2016 salary – $540,000

The Dolphins drafted Jay Ajayi in the 5th round and many believed that this selection could have been the steal of the mid-rounds. Ajayi was injured during his senior season in college and as a result his draft stock plummetted. Originally, Ajay graded out as a top three back entering the draft.

In 2015, Ajayi ran the ball only 49 times accumulating 187 yards and a 3.8 yards per carry average. Less than one yard less than Lamar Miller. When Ajayi got the ball he ran very physical and showed very good upfield push and vision. Lacking top end speed, Ajayi really didn’t need it. Ajayi has a very good knack of making people miss and when they do hit him, he tends to run through them or bounce off of them.

His play in 2015 was enough to make the Dolphins seriously look at whether Lamar Miller should be re-signed. Ajayi has question marks, durability is one of them but he has the tools to be very good in the NFL.

2015 grade: B

Why a “B”?

Ajayi would have graded out higher here had he had more film to look at. The fact that he, like Miller, suffered due to the lack of play calling continuity hurt him a little more than Miller but there is no doubt he has the tools to be very good if given more opportunity and in 2016 he will get plenty.

The rest of the running backs

Damien Williams is the only other notable runner but he ran the ball only 18 times all season. Compared to Jonas Gray, who ran the ball 31 times in his short stay, Williams was far less effective. Williams did catch 21 balls on the season and his overall grade as a running back is a “C”. Williams will be graded again on special teams. Jonas Gray is no longer with the team and will receive no grade.