Standing pat on Raheem Mostert was the right move all along

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

From the outside looking in, the Miami Dolphins entered the 2023 season without a franchise running back. Miami’s running back room consisted of Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr, De’Von Achane, Chris Brooks and Salvon Ahmed. Four journeymen, a speedy rookie and an undrafted rookie doesn’t exactly strike fear in the heart of opposing defenses

Miami was linked to several available top tier running backs. During the NFL draft, Miami inquired about D’Andre Swift from the Detroit Lions. Swift was ultimately traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick in 2025 and a seventh-round pick in 2023. 

Soon thereafter, Miami was linked to Dalvin Cook upon his release from the Minnesota Vikings. Unable to come to an agreement on compensation, Cook ultimately signed with the New York Jets. Many in the media thought this was another strikeout for the Dolphins in their pursuit of a perennial running back.

Almost immediately after the Cook signing, Jonathan Taylor was given permission to seek a trade by the Indianapolis Colts. Taylor had a tumultuous summer with Indianapolis, their front office, and owner Jim Irsay. Contract negotiations broke down after Irsay made some negative comments via X, formerly known as twitter.

Taylor was eventually given a Tuesday deadline of August 29 to find a suitable trade partner. Unable to agree on compensation, Taylor stayed with the Colts and eventually signed an extension.

Thus, Miami stood pat with their running back room. McDaniel commended his RB1’s focus amid all the noise. Happy with his running back room, Coach McDaniel pressed forward. 

How well has Miami’s decision panned out for them? 

1. Swift has been productive for the 10-4 Eagles

D'andre Swift
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D’Andre Swift is having a productive season for the Philadelphia Eagles. Swift is averaging 4.6 yards per carry for 896 yards rushing this season. Swift has 4 touchdowns on the ground and 1 through the air. According to Pro Football Focus, D’Andre Swift is the 62nd ranked running back in rushing offense.

2. Dalvin Cook has struggled to get on the field all season

Dalvin Cook
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Dalvin Cook has been a disappointment in New York since his arrival. In late October Cook voiced frustration because of his lack of touches and playing time. Since Week 1, Cook has only carried the ball more than 8 times once. For the season Dalvin Cook has 214 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns and 3.2 yards per carry. 

3. Injuries have kept Jonathan Taylor on the sidelines most of the season

Jonathan Taylor
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Lastly, Jonathan Taylor has been unable to stay on the field. Taylor started the season on the PUP list; missing the first 4 games of the season. In the seven games he has played this year Taylor has failed to go over 100 yards rushing. After a strong Week 12 performance, Taylor had an unspecified thumb injury that has sidelined him since.

By comparison, Raheem Mostert is having his best year as an NFL running back. At 31 years old, Mostert is defying father time. Raheem has rushed for 966 yards, 18 touchdowns, and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Amongst running backs who have played 14 games, Moster ranks number one in rushing offense with a 91.6. Mostert ranks third amongst running backs with 669 yards after contact.

Not to be outdone, De’Von Achane has exploded onto the scene with 613 yards rushing, 7 touchdowns, and is averaging 8.5 yards per carry. Chris Brooks is averaging 6.3 yards per carry in just three games this season. Miami’s running back by committee has placed them amongst the best in the NFL.

No one knows their team better than the coaches and staff in the building daily. Raheem Mostert was brought in by McDaniels upon his arrival and coach knew, more than anyone, why he brought Raheem to Miami. Now, so does the rest of the NFL.