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Grading the Trade: Matt Breida

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Did Miami hit a home run by trading for Matt Breida?

San Francisco 49ers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

We’re a few days removed from the biggest draft in recent Miami Dolphins history, and maybe, by now, we’ve had enough time for it all to sink in just a little (or maybe not. I’ll be honest: I still smile every time I remember Tua Tagovailoa is Miami’s quarterback).

The Dolphins made a litany of moves over draft weekend. Some were almost universally loved by fans (hello, Tua), while others were met with surprise and some disapproval (I didn’t mind the long snapper pick, but Dolphins Twitter wasn’t thrilled). General manager Chris Grier made a number of trades over the course of the draft, but only one directly yielded a player from another NFL team. Though it’s usually a fruitless effort to try and grade a team’s moves just days after they occur, let’s give it the ol’ college try as we evaluate Miami’s swap for former San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida.

The Dolphins received the 153rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft when the team traded Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals last season. When that pick rolled by in the fifth round of the draft this past weekend, 49ers general manager John Lynch decided he wanted to move up to select offensive tackle Colton McKivitz out of West Virginia, and Grier happily obliged and received Breida in return.

Breida, 25, has been a very potent weapon for the 49ers since going undrafted back in 2017. Over three seasons, the home run hitter has amassed a stellar 5.0 yards per carry average. After showing a great deal of promise as a rookie, Breida played in 14 games in 2018 and started 13 following an injury to incumbent starter Jerick McKinnon.

This past season, Breida was used in a committee approach by head coach Kyle Shanahan. While rotating with Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, Breida played in 13 games (he missed three due to injury) and started five. The speed demon averaged 5.1 yards per carry and accumulated 623 yards on the ground, 120 through the air, and two total scores.

Breida is a versatile runner can do as much damage in the passing game as he can running the football. He should be a nice complement to the bruising hammer the Dolphins signed in Jordan Howard, giving the Dolphins a proverbial “thunder and lighting” duo in the backfield. Calling Breida the “lightning” of the two is no hyperbole. According to Next Gen Stats, Breida was the fastest ball carrier in the entire NFL last year. He recorded a top speed of 22.3 miles per hour during an 83 yard rushing touchdown in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Breida signed a restricted-free agent tender with the 49ers this offseason and is on the books for one more year at a cost of $3.259 million. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the 2021 offseason barring an extension with the Dolphins.

Justin’s Grade: A

Want more Miami Dolphins news, updates, and analysis? Follow Justin Hier on Twitter @HierJustin.

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What grade do you give the Miami Dolphins for the Matt Breida trade?

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  • 75%
    A
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  • 21%
    B
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    C
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