By: Chip Turner
This is the second of a two-part article series on Gerrid Doaks. The first article can be found here.
Gerrid Doaks is a power back out of Cincinnati, and as I wrote previously, he runs with violence. So why is he the right fit for Miami? To take a look at where this is going, let’s first take a look at where we’ve been.
In 2020, the Miami Dolphins signed Free Agent Jordan Howard. He was the short-yardage back Miami needed to keep defenses honest. He represented one of my favorite quotes ever, by Leroy Hoard. “Coach,” he said, “if you need a yard, I’ll get you three. If you need five yards, I’ll get you three.” And that’s really what Howard was supposed to bring to the table. Sure, he was an upright runner and he’d had a shoulder injury, but there was still some gas left in the tank, right?
As it turned out, no. Jordan Howard had a positively abysmal year, averaging just 1.2 yards per carry in 2020 for Miami. Was it a lingering issue with his shoulder? Simple wear and tear of an NFL career? It’s hard to say. But in the end, Miami lacked a power run game that was desperately needed to wear down opposing defenses and keep them honest, and it cost them.
For 2021, Miami signed Malcolm Brown in Free Agency, and then doubled down and drafted Gerrid Doaks in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft. It appears that Brian Flores is dead set on having a power element to a RB committee.
So what does Doaks bring to Miami? In a word, toughness. His limited film at Cincinnati is a showcase of defenders making long-term business decisions about their health. Make no mistake; Doaks isn’t going to win track meets, although he’s fast enough to get chunk yardage. He’s never going to make a highlight reel with a jump cut that breaks someone’s ankles, although he’s shiftier than you’d think for a guy of his size. He has good vision and footwork, and he’s a good pass blocker, too. But what is he, really?
What he is…is a hammer. And when you’re a hammer of a running back in the NFL, everyone else looks like a nail. He leans forward into contact, lowering his pads into opponents. DBs coming in from an angle meet a lowered shoulder first. You can look for yourself; his film is littered with tacklers diving for his ankles or making “olé” tackles where they drape themselves onto him in passing rather than meeting him head-on.
Again, he’s exactly what Miami needs to keep defenses honest. And although he’s said in an interview that he’d love to have a meal with Marshawn Lynch, he doesn’t compare himself to Lynch. He’s emphasized that he’s just going to be the best Gerrid Doaks he can be. It’s become a cliché to make an NFL comparison for virtually every running back coming out of college, but in this case, I’ll certainly make an exception. In studying the current Dolphins roster and correlating film, I found a very interesting comparison:
Gerrid Doaks’ closest comparison as a running back that I’ve found…is Malcolm Brown.
They’re virtually identical in height, weight, combine/pro day results coming out of college, blocking ability, and of course…they both run with violence between the tackles.
And that’s really what Gerrid Doaks brings to Miami. Depending on how many RB the Dolphins roster, he could be part of a physical, bruising committee that has opposing defenses having second thoughts about their pursuit. That not only means business decisions for opponents, but good days ahead for the Miami Dolphins.