The Miami Dolphins added running back Jordan Howard in free agency, but this shouldn’t stop them from exploring other options in through the draft.
Formerly a fifth-round (150th overall) selection by the Chicago Bears in 2016, Howard has combined for 3895 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground, providing the Dolphins with some much-needed firepower in the running game.
While he is certainly an upgrade on one of the worst running games seen in South Beach for many years, he should not be the only new addition to the backfield ahead of the 2020 season.
The last time the Dolphins had a truly ‘complete’ offense was back in 2008 when they had a reliable quarterback in Chad Pennington partnered with two sturdy running backs in Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown.
With the Dolphins expected to select their QB of the future in the draft, adding a young rusher to the mix to provide additional long-term weapons and options would be a sensible move to make.
Georgia’s D’Andre Swift is the consensus number one running back in the draft, expected to be selected somewhere in the mid-to-late first round.
While he could be the ideal addition for the Dolphins, there are far more pressing needs around the team that need addressing, particularly along the offensive line.
With that in mind, selecting a running back in the second round of the draft may be the way general manager Chris Grier goes, with the value of runners somewhat decreased in recent years.
If the Dolphins do decide to add to their backfield on the second day of the draft, Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins could be the right way to go.
Dobbins’ pre-draft grades have him going anywhere between the late first-round up to the early third round, though the second round is probably the likeliest place for him to be selected.
A three-year starter for the Big Ten powerhouse, the La Grange, Texas native ran for over 1000 yards in each year with the Buckeyes and topped 2000 in his latest season, rushing for 21 touchdowns.
Across his three years in college, Dobbins combined for 4459 total yards on the ground – reaching the end zone 38 times. He added a further 645 yards in receiving yards, adding five touchdowns from passes.
His 5-foot-10, 217lbs frame would make him a shifty, but sturdy, back in the NFL, with a good mixture of speed and strength to power his way past opposing defenses.
With Howard being slightly larger at 6-foot, 224lbs, the Dolphins could have a promising backfield tandem with the addition of Dobbins alongside the four-year veteran.
While Swift might be the preferred option for many, it appears the Dolphins are already keeping a close eye on Dobbins ahead of the draft, with USA Today’s Buckeyes Wire reporting that the NFL team brought Dobbins’ visit forward to ensure they had a chance to meet him before the recent ban on visits came into place.
With the Miami Dolphins building a team the right way, through the draft, bringing in their future leading back seems to be another step forward for Brian Flores’ team.