Dolphins’ Pre-Draft Position Breakdown: Running Backs
With the NFL Draft less than three weeks away, it won’t be long before the Miami Dolphins are “on the clock”. After a 10-6 season that saw the team reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the Dolphins are looking to add pieces to help them get back there.
As the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia nears, we continue a series that takes a look at each position for the Dolphins and how that might affect what Miami does in the draft. The draft will be held from April 27-29.
After looking at quarterbacks on Monday, we slide a little further into the backfield and look at running backs:
Dolphins’ Picks by Round
Round 1: No. 22
Round 2: No. 54
Round 3: No. 97 (Compensatory)
Round 5: No. 166, No. 178 (Compensatory) and No. 184 (Compensatory)
Round 7: No. 223 (from Los Angeles)
Projected Starter(s): Jay Ajayi
Despite getting just 18 total touches for the first month of the season in 2016, Jay Ajayi enjoyed the third greatest season for a Dolphins’ running back ever. Ajayi finished with 1,272 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns with nearly 1,500 total yards. Ajayi is just 23 years old and has a bright, bright future in the NFL.
Notable Depth: Damien Williams, Kenyan Drake
While Ajayi is a complete back, the Dolphins have two very good compliments in the backfield in Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake. Last season, the two combined for nearly 600 yards of offense and eight total touchdowns.
Last Three Picks at Position
Kenyan Drake: Round 3, No. 73 overall in 2016
Jay Ajayi: Round 5, No. 149 overall in 2015
Mike Gillislee: Round 5, No. 164 overall in 2013
Draft Probability: Low
The Miami Dolphins already have three very viable options at running back, including a 23-year-old coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance in Ajayi. Drake is also 23 while Williams is only 25. Don’t expect a running back to be a high priority for the Dolphins in this year’s draft. It’s possible that the team could pursue a fullback in the later rounds if it feels that’s a necessary commodity for the upcoming season, but that seems unlikely.
Mike Ferguson is a sports writer and reporter for several publications and the Pro Football Spot lead writer for the Miami Dolphins. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson