The Miami Dolphins have upgraded their RB’s but how good will they be?
Remember last year in 2019 when the Miami Dolphins leading rusher was, wait for it, Ryan Fitzpatrick? This year, that is not likely going to be the case as the Dolphins have upgraded their running back group, added more potential quality on the offensive line, and will have solid competition for reps.
Kalen Ballage was supposed to be what the Dolphins needed last year and they traded Kenyan Drake who led the team in rushing before the trade deadline. The Drake trade was more about getting compensation for a player that was leaving after the season in FA rather than selling a productive talent. He just wasn’t in their future plans.
Ballage struggled all year and at one point had a one-yard per carry average. Patrick Laird didn’t fare a whole lot better statistically but looked for more fluid and decisive with the same bad line. Now, both of those players are going to face tougher competition and Ballage may not be calling Miami home when the season finally begins.
Miami did not draft a running back in April much to the chagrin of many Dolphins fans. They did draft a versatile kid, Malcolm Perry in round seven who could add some depth. Where Miami got better however was through working the channels outside of the draft itself.
In free agency, Miami signed former Bears and Eagles running back Jordan Howard. Howard is only 25 and has fresh legs. He was simply in a couple of situations previously that didn’t work out for him. Change of coaching in Chicago that led to his trade to Philly. The Dolphins also added the speedy Matt Breida during a draft-day trade.
Matt Breida will be the Miami Dolphins speed guy at running back.
Breida and Howard are going to be the featured backs in this offense and both will see plenty of opportunities to carry the ball in Chan Gailey’s heavy run offensive system. Finally, Myles Gaskin is holding on to a spot but for how long?
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Gaskin didn’t blow anyone away last year but no one did. Will he get a chance to make the roster this year? Miami traditionally only keeps four running backs at most and even if a 5th runner is kept there is no guarantees for Gaskin.
Consider that Breida and Howard hold the first two spots, Laird is the likely third. Add Chandler Cox, the fullback into the mix and you have Cox, Ballage, Gaskin, and Perry fighting for one or two spots at most.
It is going to be a tough competition in camp but the Dolphins will at least have two up front runners that should be able to carry most of the load in 2020.