As of now, the depth chart is basically Jay Ajayi, and then quite a few unproven players, although Kenyan Drake is only unproven because he hasn’t yet played in the NFL because he’s a rookie. Head Coach Adam Gase has publicly stated that he wants each and every RB in his stable to have the skills to stay on the field for an entire drive if necessary. That translates into number one, having the stamina to to be able to stay on the field for an entire drive, to have running skills to keep a driving, to be able to pass block adequately, and also be proficient at catching the ball out of the backfield. The question then is, do any of the other RB’s we currently have on the roster besides Ajayi and Drake possess those skills? Let’s take a look.
Daniel Thomas – 28YO – 6’0″ 225
Thomas is making his third attempt with the Miami Dolphins. Thomas was drafted by the Dolphins back in the 2011 Draft, #63 overall. Thomas’s best year was his rookie year, where he totaled 581 yards rushing on 165 carries for a 3.5YPC average, very pedestrian. One thing Thomas has in his favor, he’s an accomplished pass blocker. He’s not great, but he might be the best blocker in the backfield. He’s a decent receiver, but never caught more than 15 passes.
Damien Williams – 24YO – 5’11” 211
Damien was basically 3rd string last year, behind Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi. Not much of a book on Williams really, other than the fact that he actually seems more comfortable running after a catch than he does on a hand off. Williams has nearly as many receptions as he does carries, 42 receptions and 52 carries. His only 2 TD’s both came on pass receptions. If you’ve watched Dolphins football, it seems Williams likes running after the catch. He has averaged 3.7 YPC, but has a decent 7.8 YPR on his 42 receptions. His rushing skills do not inspire a lot of confidence, so I think he’s a long shot.
Isaiah Pead – 26YO – 5’10” 197
Isaiah Pead was drafted in the 2nd RD of the 2012 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams, 50th overall. We practically killed Daniel Thomas here, he of DT3 fame. Imagine if we got the production Isaiah Pead gave the Rams??? 19 rushes, 78 YDS in 3 seasons, along with 14 catches for 94 yards. ZERO TD’s. You can kind of understand why Pead was expendable. Maybe a change of scenery will provide the right atmosphere for a career resurrection for Pead. He has decent speed, ran a 4.47 40, and he’s an agile guy as well, was a good receiver in college. He’s a deficient pass blocker, so that’s something he’s going to have work hard to improve to make the roster.
OK, so this is what we currently have on the roster, but a recent development, as recent as yesterday, has Arian Foster supposedly healthy enough to participate in an NFL training camp. If that’s the case, I would think the Dolphins, who have been in contact with Foster and have obviously shown interest, will be monitoring this closely, and bring him in for a look see. If Foster is healthy, he brings a veteran presence to a very young backfield, and the ability to do it all, if he’s healthy. That’s the 64 million dollar question with Foster, is he healthy enough, and can he stay healthy enough to last an entire NFL season. I think there’s a very good shot Foster will be our 3rd RB. We’ll have to wait and see how his health is, and if we offer him the right opportunity, both $$$ wise, and workload.