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Dolphins 2021 roster breakdown: Running backs

Miami Dolphins Mandatory Minicamp Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Earlier this week, we took a closer look at the Miami Dolphins’ quarterback position. We continue the series this afternoon with a look at another position group, this time the running backs. The idea behind this series is just to see who is on the roster, who could make it to the active roster in September, and where Miami might have a hole - or possibly have more talent than they can keep.

While the quarterbacks did not need a lot of discussion, the running backs group could be more difficult to predict.

Roster

Salvon Ahmed (22, 2nd year)
Malcolm Brown (28, 7th year)
Gerrid Doaks (23, Rookie)
Myles Gaskin (24, 3rd year)
Patrick Laird (25, 3rd year)
Jordan Scarlett (25, 2nd year)
Carl Tucker (24, Rookie) - Fullback

Analysis

Heading into the offseason, fans largely saw running back as one of the team’s biggest areas of need, with an upgrade in the Draft a strong possibility. The team, however, seems to not have agreed with that assessment, not using a selection on the position group until the seventh round when they added Doaks. They also added Brown in free agency this year, signing him from the Los Angeles Rams on a one-year deal.

That leaves Gaskin, last year’s starter, as the presumed top of the depth chart heading into this season. He had 142 carries for 584 yards in 2021, giving him a 4.1 yards per attempt average with three touchdowns. He also caught 41 passes for 388 yards with another two scores.

Brown appeared in 16 games last year for the Rams, with 101 carries for 419 yards (4.1 average) with five touchdowns. He could slide in as the number two running back behind Gaskin, though he will compete with Ahmed. As a rookie last season, Ahmed appeared in six games with four starts, carrying the ball 75 times for 319 yards (4.3 average) with three touchdowns.

Doaks likely will battle with Laird and Scarlett for the fourth running back on the roster. In his second year with the Dolphins, Laird appeared in all 16 games, carrying the ball 13 times for 72 yards (5.5 average). Scarlett was out of the league for most of 2020, signing to the Detroit Lions’ practice squad in December. He was a fifth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2019, working primarily as a special teams player before injuries ended his rookie campaign early. Special teams play may be the determining factor in who from the group makes the roster.

Tucker could play his way onto the roster with strong special teams play, but it does not feel like Miami will be looking to keep a fullback. Defensive end Christian Wilkins has made appearances on offense as a fullback for the team in the past, and could be asked to do the same in 2021.

Depth Chart Projection

53-man roster:
Myles Gaskin - starter
Salvon Ahmed
Malcolm Brown
Jordan Scarlett

Practice squad:
Gerrid Doaks
Patrick Laird

Likely cut:
Carl Tucker