Having a solid offensive line in the National Football League is extremely crucial for a running back to create explosive plays. As the Miami Dolphins prepare to open training camp doors this upcoming Thursday, all eyes will be on Kenyan Drake, who will enter his fourth season at the professional level.
A former Alabama product, Drake rushed for 535 yards on 120 carries in 2018, consistently flipping and flopping with veteran Frank Gore, who signed with the Buffalo Bills on March 13, signing a one-year, $2 million dollar deal. Currently, the Dolphins hold seven running backs on the active roster: Mark Walton, a former University of Miami back, Kalen Ballage, entering his second year with Miami, Kenneth Farrow, Myles Gaskin, a 2019 seventh-round selection, Chandler Cox, also a 2019 seventh-round choice, Patrick Laird, and Drake.
Losing Gore ultimately shrinks depth at the running back position, but Drake is well-prepared to soon take over everyday running back duties.
“He’s athletic, he’s explosive, he’s fast. He’s a good route runner." Head coach Brian Flores said during a June 5 press conference. "He does a lot of good things.”
The football world became very familiar with Drake this past December, after Drake received a lateral pass from WR DeVante Parker and raced 52 yards for a game-winning touchdown versus the New England Patriots with time expiring, in a contest that was later known as “The Miami Miracle.”
Drake also shined under the bright lights in 2017 versus the Patriots, totaling 114 rushing yards on 25 carries. The NFL experts see it every so often, whereas the Miami coaching staff sees the potential of Drake on a day-to-day basis.
The Dolphins, as a whole in 2018, scored seven touchdowns on the ground, four at the hands of Drake. Now working with a new head coach and offensive coordinator, in Chad O’Shea, Drake hopes to form into the Dolphins’ next Mercury Morris.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori