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Miami Dolphins Draft Prospects 2018 - Running Back Preview

Throughout the season, we will take a look around college football and break down potential prospects for the Miami Dolphins.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have an established RB in Jay Ajayi and two capable backups with Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. I know Ajayi does have some durability concerns and Drake needs to develop more but I personally like our backfield....thing is though, I really like this draft class. There are some really good backs that might be available late in the draft next year (really hard to predict that this early) and the Dolphins would be wise to look into them. The RB position is a tough position and if we happen to lose Ajayi our entire offensive production will most certainly suffer. Now, with all that being said, lets look into this potential class and lets start with probably one of the best players in the country in Saquon Barley.

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St. - Junior

5-11 223 lbs

Barkley is a potential Heisman winner and one of the top players available in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s got all the tools you look for in a franchise RB. He’s elite; terrific speed, good vision, deadly start/stop speed, his acceleration is unbelievable and his burst/agility is phenomenal. He’s got to improve on his pass protection but he’s a top 5 talent.

John Kelly, RB, Tennessee - Junior

5-9 202 lbs
John Kelly is one of my favorite players I’ve watched so far. He’s terrific; really underrated back that is frankly one of the toughest runners I’ve ever scouted. He simply doesn’t go down on the first hit. That’s not an exaggeration; I don’t think I saw him get tackled one on one. He’s such a fierce, hard hitting runner that gives it his all on every play. He’s got good hands, great burst, always have his feet moving, has a violent stiff arm.....he plays with heart on every play. No doubt he can be a great running back in the NFL, I simply just really worry about his size and his durability simply because he’s such a hard, tough runner. Overall, I have a high grade on him and believe he’s vastly underrated.

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Tennessee Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego St. - Senior

5-10 220 lbs

Penny has burst onto the scene this year after playing behind the ultra-productive Donnel Pumphrey the last couple years. He’s a playmaker; simple as that. He’s got some shifty moves, pretty good burst, good speed, and he’s a capable receiver out of the backfield. I think his field vision needs to improve and that does lead to him being a little hesitant at times, but he’s a talented back that could contribute early. Also, he doesn’t have a lot of wear on tear on him, so that is definitely a big plus.

NCAA Football: San Diego State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona St. - Senior

6-2 227 lbs

Ballage is a big back that is super athletic. He’s got reliable hands, very shifty and elusive for his size, does a good job keeping his feet moving when engaged, and can run over defenders. I like his aggressiveness but at his size it could be better. His pass protection needs to improve too. I added some film clips on my twitter @clintclearwater if you want to see what I am talking about. One play specifically, he totally missed a block that lead to QB hit and INT. I think I like and was most impressed with his patience, very Le’veon Bell - like. He’s not super consistent with it, but it looks like it comes naturally to him. Ballage has a chance to really be a good back in the NFL if he cleans up some fundamentals of his game.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon - Senior

5-10 234 lbs

Freeman is thicker back that has good field vision, tough to bring down, always hits the hole hard and can be a capable receiver out of the backfield. I am definitely not blown away by his speed, I think he could run a little lower and he’s not the playmaker that a lot of these other backs are. However, he’s consistent and has the capability to carry the load. He may not get a lot of the attention but he’s got skill to be a starter in the NFL.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Arizona State Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU - Junior (Injury)
Ty Isaac, RB, Michigan - Senior
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia - Senior (High draft pick)
Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa - Senior
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado - Senior
Damien Harris, RB, Alabama - Junior (High draft pick)
Kamryn Pettway, RB, Auburn - Junior
Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama - Junior
Jacques Patrick, RB, Florida St. - Junior
Ronald Jones, RB, USC - Junior
Sonny Michel, RB, Georgia - Senior