When I heard the news that the Dolphins drafted the University of Alabama running back Kenyan Drake, I had concerns. Like a lot of Dolphins fans that pay attention to the draft, I felt that Drake may be more of an offensive weapon and less of a running back.
Drake fans who were excited about the pick asked, “What are my reservations about the Drake pick?”
My answer is I would feel more comfortable drafting a running back with more experience as a traditional running back and someone who has had more of a workload in college running the ball for my second running back. I didn’t have a problem with Drake the player, but with Drake's workload and experience as a traditional running back in college.
Drake seems like he can do it all as a traditional running back and he can do some things that other running backs in this draft can’t do. There was a sect on Draft Twitter that say Drake will be a better pro than Derrick Henry. I really hope this is true. One of my biggest concerns is putting Drake - who has a history of injuries - behind Ajayi who has a knee injury history that is scary.
Part of Drake's problem was the college he went to. I feel if Drake went to USC or University of Texas he would have had more of a chance to win the starting job. Alabama just has too much depth at the running back position. If he went to USC or Texas that didn’t have the crazy depth at the running back position he would have been able to win the starting job and develop the running back skills through experience.
Kenyan Drake is an explosive athlete on film. On this play he displays his explosiveness with a great spin move to avoid yards for loss.
Drake’s pass protection was a weakness for him at Alabama, but on this play he does show the ability to chip the edge rusher, run a route and catch the ball. Drake then fights for extra yards which you see a lot in his film.
There is a myth about Drake that he can’t be an inside runner. I saw a bunch of plays where he ran tough between the tackles. He has a 6’1" 220 lb. body to run inside. On this play he displays inside running ability. I would like to see him not run so upright but he doesn’t seem to want to bounce everything outside.
On this play Drake shows his ability to cut and hit that homerun play that is so vital to an offense. He false steps or gives the impression that he is going left then all of a sudden plants his foot in the ground and bursts through the hole and is untouched for fifty yards.
Many draft experts wonder if Drake wouldn’t be better off switching to wide receiver. On this play Drake shows why these experts have this notion. Drake is lined up at the top of the screen as a wide receiver. Drake puts a Sluggo, or a slant and go move on the defender.
Drake is wide open when he makes a beautiful over the shoulder catch. He then runs past the safety for a touchdown. This wasn’t against NORTH WEST SOUTH EASTERN Tech University. This was against University of Florida, a team that always produces NFL talent.
Drake has the speed to win the corner; this puts a ton of stress on a defense. Drake demonstrates his speed on this play by running around the defense.
Drake has the ability to run a Jet Sweep. This offers Gase another bullet in his playcalling Bandolier. That’s right; I like to pretend Gase is a Mexican Bandito sometimes. You gotta problem with that ESSE?
Some may say, “Can’t anyone run a Jet Sweep?” No they cannot. You need speed to get to the edge, vision to see a hole develop and athleticism to cut and burst through that hole before it closes. Drake demonstrates these three aspects on this play.
Drake gives the Miami Dolphins the ability to stretch the opposing defense sideline to sideline with his speed. He shows that ability with a nice East/West run on this play. Drake stretches the defense then makes a great cut to shoot up field for a good gain. Drake’s effort is also showcased on this play.
Drake is fighting for extra yards after contact. Unfortunately, one downside to fighting for extra yards is more of a chance to fumble the ball. This is what happens at the end of this play.
Drake has the speed to stretch the field vertically, but he also has the toughness to bang it inside as well. Drake runs the ball between the tackles. When he is about to make contact with the defender he lowers his shoulder and bounces off the defender. Drake then continues running for more positive yards.
Drake’s best quality is his ability to catch the ball, be it lined up as a wide receiver or from out of the backfield. Another great quality is his playmaking ability in open space. Drake doesn’t have Antonio Brown-type wiggle but he does have excellent acceleration, so it is hard for a defender to track him.
On this play Drake catches a screen from out of the backfield. He shows patience to let his blockers stay in front of him as long as possible. Once the blockers are in position to take out some defenders Drake accelerates. Drake then slows down and lets a defender run past him. That’s when he hits the jets again.
There were a couple instances during Drake’s games where he has focus drops. I am not extremely concerned because even the best WRs in the game will have a focus drop here or there. This play demonstrates a focus drop.
This film review was done by Matthew Knowles. Follow him on Twitter: @blueflamespcl