It’s been around four days since the Miami Dolphins began their quest to annihilate the 2021 NFL Draft. The absolute majority of all the pundits, talking heads, and analysts have given the Dolphins near an A or better on how they handled their draft. Not that I really care if a bunch of folks on TV are talking nice about the Dolphins, but if I had to pick between the national media dumping all over the Dolphins or saying that they’re smart, I’d take the latter. On the off chance that you haven’t found the best damn Miami Dolphins NFL Draft review, I wrote it yesterday, and here it is.
Though the Dolphins, in my opinion, smashed the draft and set their franchise up for a few years in certain positions, we can’t act like the Dolphins didn’t sort of lay an egg on improving the running back room. I wanted the Dolphins to draft Najee Harris at #18. I think he would have been a great compliment to what they already have and could do the things that could potentially win games late in the year in rough weather areas such as New England, New York, and Buffalo. Miami goes with Jaelan Phillips, and I’m really not upset with it at all. Philips, barring any injuries, will have a great chance to be a force that will have to be reckoned with for many years to come. That’s how good he could be.
Then, as we’re starting to hear now, the Dolphins were looking to take JeVonta Williams with the #36 pick until the Denver swooped in right before them and took the UNC back. I think we have no idea what the Dolphins truly would have done if Williams was on the board at #36. All the reports coming out are all over the place, with some saying that Miami would have taken Williams and others saying that Mr. Jevon Holland’s Opus(we’re workshopping it, take it easy on me) was going to be the guy the whole time. We’ll never know, and Flores will never really say, and if he does, I’m not sure if you could believe him because if it were me, I’m going to say that Holland was the guy no matter what.
The Dolphins shored up some other areas on the team, and then in the 7th round, they drafted Gerrid Doaks out of Cincinnati. Not sure about you, and although I think Doaks could end up being a decentish player down the road, I’m not quite ready to say that the Dolphins are finished with upgrading their backfield.
Currently, the Dolphins have Myles Gaskin, who, yes, was a 7th rounder a few seasons ago who played unexpectedly, very well last year. From all intents and purposes, Gaskin will be the day one starter, but he’s not the kind of guy that will be doing it alone. The Dolphins will unleash a fleury of backs every game. The other fellas on the squad that tote the rock is Salvon Ahmed, who, like Gaskin came out of absolute nowhere, had some productive moments, Malcolm Brown, who they signed in free agency, Patrick Laird, the man who caught Tua’s first pass, and Jordan Scarlett Witch. Forgive me or don’t, but that’s not a running game that makes me feel overly confident.
I know some folks out there who write about the Dolphins have crunched the numbers and projected what Gaskin would have done if he didn’t miss any games last year, and that’s all well and good. Here’s what he actually did last year.
I like Gaskin, and I think he’s certainly good enough to be part of a duo, but I don’t like him as the sole number one guy. He does a lot well, and I love how he gained more confidence in being a pass-catcher. He has a shiftiness to him while not being that fast that is mesmerizing to me.
Ahmed showed a gear last year that was fun to watch while also being effective. But I don’t know; I just get this feeling that as surprising as to how his emergence was that he would have a disappearance that will be equally as puzzling. I very much hope I’m wrong on that, but Flores does what he wants, and guys you think should be out there won’t be out there for games at a time, and the only reason you can come up with is that guy didn’t look good in practice.
I like Malcolm Brown, but I’m not ready to crown him as Gaskin’s other more powerful half. Brown will make an impact, but there’s a reason he was signed for only a year and only $1.7M. I like Laird’s ability to catch the ball, but I think he’s going to be the odd man out of this group. That pretty much leaves Doaks, and we’ll have to see how trusting Flores is to actually give him real carries in a game. I would think he’s a ways away from doing that.
So where does that leave the Dolphins? Who’s out there that could be signed? Well, it’s not pretty. There’s Le’Veon Bell, who the Dolphins decided against not signing in the middle of last year. I think that ended up being a good move because Bell looked washed in Kansas City.
Todd Gurley is out there as well. Gurley, who amazingly is only 26 right now but plays like he’s 33, had 678 yards on 3.5 yards a carry last year for the Falcons. I would stay away from Gurley mainly because he has the knees of a mummy, which is frankly insulting to mummies.
That’s nothing to get excited about but at this point. There really isn’t anyone out there who we are going to get pumped up for. There’s a reason these guys are teamless at the moment.
I suppose the Dolphins can try and trade for someone, but there’s not a ton out there. Kareen Hunt’s name has been lightly floated out there, but that seems unlikely since he resigned with Cleveland last year. The Seahawks are not picking up Rashad Penny’s fifth-year option, so maybe that is a possible move. I wouldn’t hate that idea. Penny has shown flashes when he can stay healthy and has the type of build built for the dirty work.
Here’s a list of free-agent running backs as of March 10. It’s not a fun one, as you can imagine. I suppose it’s possible the Dolphins roll with what they got. Flores and Grier seem to not really value the running back position since they missed out on the top three guys in the draft for the second year in a row. I’d like to see some effort put into getting another capable back in there and then maybe attempt to get another longer-term player next year. I’m sure we’ll be back in the same position next year due to this regime not caring about the position, but maybe they’ll surprise us. They tend to do that.
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