Entering the 2017 NFL Season, the Miami Dolphins have plenty of decisions to make before the start of the season. With training camp and the preseason now just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how these on and off the field decisions are made and what effect they are likely to have on the short term future in Miami.
As it pertains to the team’s roster for the upcoming season, decisions are quickly looming with roster cuts and depth chart moves likely to come. Beginning a new series for the next couple of weeks, we will take a look each day at a positional group on the Miami Dolphins roster and what the outlook appears to be as well as make our own predictions on how things will turn out.
Continuing our new series today, we will take a look at what the future holds for the Miami Dolphins at the running back position.
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Much like the quarterback position, the Miami Dolphins are set at the starting spot. Jay Ajayi will not only once again be the lead back for the Miami Dolphins this season but based on discussions Adam Gase has had with the media, Ajayi could even be a darkhorse to win the NFL’s rushing title this season.
However, behind Ajayi, the story is a bit different. Kenyan Drake looks to be the second string back due to his explosive nature. However, some injury concerns could derail that experiment before it even starts. With a loaded backfield, it will be interesting to see how this duel plays out.
Starter: Jay Ajayi
The workhorse running back for the Miami Dolphins, Jay Ajayi is a darkhorse contender for the rushing title this season is he numbers from last season hold up. Facing an increased workload though, Ajayi’s durability could come into question. If it does, the battles lower on the depth chart likely become even more important going forward.
Second String: Kenyan Drake
The second string, change of pace option, Kenyan Drake is the complete opposite of Jay Ajayi. To me, that is what makes Drake a must for this position. Capable of using speed and elusiveness to escape and break open big plays, Drake is the option Miami needs when Ajayi needs a break from running the ball. Heck, I’ll even go as far as to say that Drake will be the pass catching back by the end of the season.
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Third String: Damien Williams
No matter how many times I compare the the running backs other than Drake and Ajayi, Williams seems like the odds-on favorite to land the number three position on the depth chart. However, while Williams may be a solid pass catching back, it will be interesting to see if either Drake or Ajayi digs into his reps this season.
Fourth String: De’Veon Smith
Normally I would list De’Veon Smith as a practice squad player. However, combine the love he has gotten from owner Stephen Ross and his almost mirror like build of Jay Ajayi and Smith makes the roster as Ajayi’s main backup. While I doubt Smith sees the field that much this season, he is someone Miami retains and uses heavily should Jay Ajayi go down with injury this season.
Cut: Storm Johnson and Senorise Perry
Two players that haven’t played in the regular season since 2014, both Storm Johnson and Senorise Perry look to just be camp bodies for the team to use during the preseason. Given the talent above these two players, it is highly unlikely that the Miami Dolphins will keep either player past the second or third week of the preseason.