By: Chip Turner
The difficulty, in the end, is relinquishing any pretense that our personal opinions carry even the slightest bit of weight toward what our favorite teams do. As Dolphins fans, we all wanted a “big-name” running back in the 2021 NFL Draft. We did our homework, researched a plethora of backs, and figured out who we thought would be best for Miami. Najee Harris. Javonte Williams. Rhamondre Stevenson. Trey Sermon. As the draft rounds progressed, we saw those familiar names drop off the board, finding homes outside Miami. And we understood that what we wanted didn’t really matter.
And then, at the end of the third day, we also realized that no matter how much you research, how hard you scout, and how prepared you think you are, there’s going to be a surprise – someone you’re not familiar with. The Miami Dolphins selected Gerrid Doaks with the 244th overall pick in the seventh round. I had already left Cleveland, driving home, listening to NFL Radio when I heard it announced, and I racked my brain. As often happens when I rack my brain nothing of value presented itself. So I had to pull off the highway and look it up:
Who the blue heck is Gerrid Doaks?
It turns out that Gerrid Doaks is a lesser-known example of precisely what I’ve been suggesting that the Dolphins need; a power back who can get tough yards needed between the tackles. And honestly, shame on me for not knowing him better.
Fortunately, there’s information out there on Doaks for those who care to look. In fact, some of the information is from Doaks himself. He started his own YouTube channel, chronicling the process leading up to the draft; his most recent video “I got drafted! #MiamiDolphins” can be found here. It’s refreshingly professional, while giving a personal insight into what draft prospects go through in the weeks and months leading up to the draft.
Game film on Doaks is a little harder to find (and yes, I’m using this as an excuse for why I didn’t know him better). The main reason for this is that he simply wasn’t utilized all that frequently at Cincinnati; he had a total of 331 carries from 2017-2020 (he missed 2018 with an injury). But when he runs, he runs with violence. He’s a bruiser who averaged 5.2 yards per carry over his career at Cincinnati. The Miami Dolphins desperately needed a back like this after a 2020 season that saw Jordan Howard fail spectacularly as a power back. Enter Malcolm Brown and Gerrid Doaks. We’ll examine more of what he brings to the table for Miami in a future article.
As far as Gerrid Doaks the person? Nearly every interview with him has emphasized one point; he’s going to do whatever it takes to make Miami a better team. He’s saying all the right things, smiling, and displaying the right attitude. Will Doaks be the next great running back for the Miami Dolphins? Only time will tell. But one thing set him apart for me; it’s the first thing I saw when I tried to get the answer to “who the blue heck is Gerrid Doaks?”
It was a Tweet he made on the second night of the NFL draft. It wasn’t about frustration over not being drafted. It wasn’t about high 39” vertical at his Pro Day (which would have been better than all but two backs at the 2020 NFL combine). It wasn’t about how tough of a runner he was.
Instead, it was this:
Team first. It seems his attitude is genuine, and it’s undoubtedly one of the things that got him noticed, and drafted, by the Miami Dolphins