Miami Dolphins 2020 Positional Preview: Running Back

Nov 3, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard (24) runs with the football against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have made some major transitions at the running back position this offseason. The Dolphins signed, traded and drafted some potential star running backs to the team. Here is a breakdown of the Dolphins running back core heading into the preseason. 

Jordan Howard

The Miami Dolphins went out looking for a star running back, which they signed former Bears pro-bowler, Jordan Howard. The Dolphins signed Howard to a two-year deal worth $10 million dollars. In his first three seasons with the Bears, Howard looked like one of the top running backs in the NFL. The Bears decided to not sign Howard back to the roster, so he was signed by the Eagles in 2019. After, suffering a major injury, Howard was a complete disappointment to the Eagles organization. Rookie running back, Miles Sanders, started over Howard for the remainder of the season. In 2019, Howard rushed for 119 rush attempts, six touchdowns, and for a mere 525 rushing yards. Overall, Howard has to prove his worth to the Dolphins, before he expects to earn top tier running back money, in the future. 

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Sep 30, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (22) carries the ball as Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (92) makes the tackle during the first half at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Breida

After, signing Jordan Howard to the Dolphins roster, they were in need of another good running back. Kalen Ballage is not the answer at the backup position or a good running back three on the roster. In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Dolphins made a surprise trade, after they traded away there fifth-round pick in exchange for Matt Breida. Breida was on the San Franciso 49ers stacked running back core, so there was no need for him on the roster anymore. In 2019, after helping the 49ers make it to the Super Bowl, Breida rushed for 123 rushing attempts, one touchdown for 623 rushing yards. Overall, Breida will be a good back up running back for the Dolphins and could potentially compete for the starting position. 

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Dec 2, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage (27) warms up prior to thegame against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kalen Ballage

The Miami Dolphins drafted Kalen Ballage in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In 2018, Ballage did not play a major role for the Dolphins, but still had a decent rookie season. Ballage rushed for 36 rushing attempts, one touchdown for 191 rushing yards. In 2019, Ballage started six games for the Dolphins but was an absolute failure for the team. Ballage rushed for 74 rushing attempts, three touchdowns for 135 rushing yards. In 2019, Ballage proved to be worthless for the Dolphins, after averaging, apathetic, 1.8 yards per attempt. Overall, Ballage will have to prove to the coaching staff that he still belongs on the roster, but it will not be easy for Ballage. 

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Aug 8, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin (37) scores a touchdown during the second half Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Myles Gaskin

The Miami Dolphins drafted Myles Gaskin in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Same as Ballage, Gaskin had a decent rookie year for the Dolphins. In his rookie season, Gaskin rushed for 36 rushing attempts, one touchdown for 133 rushing yards. He will be competing for a running back position on the roster for the Dolphins this offseason. Gaskin averaged 5.1 yards per attempt last season for the Dolphins as well. Overall, Gaskin has a better chance to make the roster, then Ballage in 2020.

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Dec 31, 2019; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Navy Midshipmen quarterback Malcolm Perry (10) passes against the Kansas State Wildcats during the first half at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Malcolm Perry

The Miami Dolphins took a chance on, Navy quarterback, Malcolm Perry in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Even though Perry played quarterback in college, he went into the NFL Draft as a wide receiver, and then the Dolphins made him a running back. Perry has the potential future to be a Julian Edelman or Taysom Hill type of athlete. He will be the most underrated player on the Dolphins roster heading into the 2020 season. Overall, Perry has a chance to make the team or practice squad, which will help him grow into a potential depth player on the Dolphins. 

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Aug 16, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Patrick Laird (42) runs with the ball and scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Laird

The Miami Dolphins signed Patrick Laird as an undrafted free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. He ended becoming a steal for the amount of effort he put onto the field. In his rookie season, Laird rushed for 62 rushing attempts, one touchdown for 168 rushing yards. If Laird had a decent offensive line his stats would have been better. Also, Laird averaged 4.1 yards per attempt, which for a rookie running back is impressive. Overall, Laird will compete for a third-string running back position on the roster for next season. 


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