One of the biggest stories from the Miami Dolphins playoff campaign in 2016 was the emergence of Jay Ajayi. Despite sitting out the first game of the season due to attitude issues, Ajayi bounced back and worked his way into the starting role for Miami. Rushing for over 200 yards in three games last season, Ajayi emerged in the national spotlight as the league’s next great running back.
However, this arrival and emergence of Jay Ajayi has outshined another interesting development out of the Miami Dolphins backfield. Selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Kenyan Drake was the sparkplug many had hoped he would become in Miami. An extremely talented change of pace option, Drake definitely made a name for himself last season.
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Whether it be his game-winning kickoff return for a touchdown against the New York Jets or his reverse field 45 yard touchdown against the Buffalo Bills, Drake proved that he has all the tools to give the Dolphins offense a major spark when needed. This leads to an interesting situation considering both Drake and Ajayi are young and improving daily.
In my mind, this is a great problem to have for Miami and one that the team can easily sort out. While Jay Ajayi is expected to have a heavier workload this season, he remains a power back that loves to run between the tackles. Bruising his way up the field on long runs, Ajayi has all the tools needed to be Miami’s workhorse.
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On the flip side, Ajayi is not someone that will go outside the box. While he is extremely powerful when running with the rock, he isn’t a lightning bug. That is where Kenyan Drake comes in. Capable of returning kicks, running the football and catching passes, Drake represents an interesting option for the Miami backfield.
With Drake rotated in on certain downs and sets, the Miami offense will have plenty of options on second and third and long. Whether it be tosses plays to the outside or play fakes, getting Drake involved in the offense would give the Miami Dolphins another dimension to fool defenses with.
While Jay Ajayi remains the star running back in Miami, look for Kenyan Drake to also see an improved role with the team this season. Given his sparkplug playing style, fans of the Miami Dolphins could be in for a show this season between Kenyan Drake and the J-Train.