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Rules are Meant to Be Broken: Najee Harris to the Dolphins at #18 Needs to Happen

I realize that the pro-days of Florida and LSU were yesterday, and we’re all losing our minds about how fast Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase ran. I understand why that is happening. That has more to do with the Dolphins first 1st round pick. At the moment, I’m still unsure who I want the Miami Dolphins to take with the #6 pick in the draft. I don’t think Chase will be there, and Sewell has been my guy for months, but man Pitts is starting to look like a guy you can’t pass up. We’ll get to that pick in the coming weeks. I want to discuss the Dolphin's other 1st-rounder, the #18 pick.

As men and women of this planet, we live our lives as just as we can. We, as humans, get to determine how we live our lives. In essence, we get to determine what standards we want to live by. What codes we want to honor, what rules we wish to follow. If you’re a person worth their salt, then you govern yourself by rules that only bring the best out of yourself. That’s admirable.

But not being willing to change, for even a moment, is not always a prosperous way to live. Sometimes, you need to go the other way and go against your belief system to get better. That ideology is what I’m applying to the #18 pick. Taking a running back in the first round is not a way of life I have ever believed in. The evidence doesn’t support doing it. We’ve seen a plethora of late-round to undrafted backs have very successful careers. So the rule of not taking a running back with a 1st round pick is, typically, a good one to always follow.

Until the Dolphins began running a type of Ponzi scheme where they always will have multiple first-round picks in every draft, yes, I know they only have one next year, but there’s a lot of time between now and then to acquire a second one. The Dolphins also don’t have too many glaring holes to fill. Outside of an edge rusher, the Dolphins have at worst adequate starters across the board. What I’m saying is that for the first time in decades, the Dolphins have a solid, talented roster up and down.

Not only that, but after this free agency period, they have pretty good depth. Will their overall depth get even more bolstered through the draft? Absolutely. The way the Dolphins are acquiring the number of picks every year makes them a depth factory every year with the idea that some of those picks end up being quality starters if not stars.

With all that said, the Dolphins need to make it a point to break my rule, no shatter my rule, and draft him with the #18 pick. You can consider it a luxury pick if you want, and if you did, you’d be right. Whatever you call it, you can call it a pick that will pay off dividends right from the get-go as long as the Dolphins actually give Najee the ball and don’t try and treat him like a guy who can only get like 6 carries a game to start. The Dolphins finished 22 in the league in rushing, with several guys being asked to run the rock. Some of those guys like Breida and Howard are gone because they didn’t have it. Others like Gaskin and Ahmed showed they could play. Gaskin especially showed he belongs and that he deserves to be part of the Dolphins backfield. He can’t be the number one guy. I’m sure there will be some out there that will try and say that he had a 4.1ypc and that he missed a few games and still put up good numbers. If you can’t see that he’s a classic back that needs to be part of a tandem, I don’t know what to tell you.

I think Tua’s development needs to be mentioned as well. Stone Cold Brian Flores mentioned the other day that they’re making a playbook geared more towards Tua’s strengths. What a novel idea. I have to imagine that if you’re making a playbook towards Tua’s strengths, then making life easier for him would be a priority. Know how you make life easier? Run the ball. Here’s a little football 101 from a guy who’s a back-to-back freshmen football coach champion. Running the ball makes it easier to pass the ball. Is your mind blown? I bet you never heard that before, but it’s true.

And Najee Harris can run the ball and pretty much do anything he wants on a football field.

I know we remember what he did in the playoff game this year when he skied over that Notre Dame player. But Najee does it all. That’s not an overstatement. He can catch the ball (recording 43 receptions last year) and is a very willing blocker.

He also portrays himself as an intelligent guy, knows how to joke around and actually be funny, and can carry himself well in a conversation.

You might be saying that being funny, being able to joke around, can speak well doesn’t mean anything. I’d say you’re wrong. It means he’s probably, emotionally stable. That’s important; if you don’t think it is, go find Isiah Wilson.

Having Najee on the Dolphins will allow Tua and the offense to do so many things regardless of what pass-catcher they draft if that’s what they do at #6. Being able to churn out more first downs on short-yardage situations and run the ball in the red zone would be major in taking the Dolphins to the next level.

You can get very good backs later in the draft. But Najee Harris is a cut above the rest. He’s my pick at #18, no matter what.

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