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Who Will Be the Starting Running Back for the Dolphins?

The Miami Dolphins made many additions at the running back position in the offseason. The Dolphins acquired running backs in trades, signings, and in the NFL Draft. Here is a breakdown of who could be the starting running back for the Miami Dolphins next season.

Jordan Howard

The Miami Dolphins signed Jordan Howard to a two-year deal worth ten million dollars. Howard had early success as a rookie after he made his first, and only, pro bowl in his rookie season. His rushing yards have steadily decreased each season he has played. After, not being resigned by the Bears, the Eagles signed Howard to the roster. In 2019 with the Eagles, Howard rushed for 119 rushing attempts, six touchdowns, for 525 rushing yards. Howard dealt with injuries all of last season and was benched by the Eagles because of, rookie running back, Miles Sanders’s success. 

Oct 6, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard (24) runs with the ball past New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After the Dolphins signed Howard, he was projected to become the starter by a long shot, until the Dolphins traded for Matt Breida. Howard has never reached the same level as his rookie season in the NFL and the Dolphins offensive line is still on the weaker side of the NFL. If Solomon Kindley, Austin Jackson, and Robert Hunt can live up to there potential as run blockers, then Howard should be able to run over the league. Overall, if Howard is going to be a successful starter for the Dolphins, then he will have to stay healthy and he needs a good offensive line to succeed. 

Matt Breida

Matt Breida has been on the San Francisco 49ers for the past three seasons. Breida has only had small injuries that took him out for a game or two, but overall he has had no major injuries. In 2018 Breida had his most impressive season as a running back, after he rushed for 153 rushing attempts, three touchdowns for 814 rushing yards. In the 2019 season, Brieda was underused because of the amount of depth on the roster. His stats took a dip when he only rushed for 123 rushing attempts, one touchdown, for 623 rushing yards. On Day Three of the NFL Draft, the Dolphins traded a fifth-round pick in exchange for Breida. 

October 7, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) hands the football to running back Matt Breida (22) against the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Once Breida was added to the roster most Dolphins fans wanted to learn more about the young running back. Breida is a speed demon of a running back after he locked in a 4.38-second forty-yard dash. Compared to Howards, slower, 4.59-second forty-yard dash. If Breida is not the starting running, he could easily become a receiving back or a third-down running back. Also, Breida is still a young running back in the NFL because he is only 25 years old next season. Overall, Breida could possibly become the starting running back for the Dolphins, but will also play third-down back and receiving back. 

Kalen Ballage

Kalen Ballage was drafted by the Maimi Dolphins in 2018 and had a decent rookie season with the team. In his rookie season, Ballage rushed for 36 rushing attempts, one touchdown, for 191 rushing yards. Ballage did not impress for a rookie running back but had a decent rookie season. In 2019, his production dropped drastically, when Ballage rushed for 74 rushing attempts, three touchdowns, for 135 rushing yards. In 2018, Ballage averaged 5.3 yards per attempt and in 2019, Ballage averaged 1.8 yards per attempt. 

Sep 29, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage (27) runs the ball as he gets tackle by Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Michael Davis (43) in the second quarter of a football game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Both of the offensive lines in Ballage’s career have been terrible, so he has never had a decent offensive line. After, the Dolphins brought in three new running backs to the roster (Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, and Malcolm Perry) it shows that they do not believe in Ballage’s abilities. Ballage will have to compete with two proven running backs in the NFL, so the chances of him starting at the beginning of the season are slim to none. Overall, Ballage will be able to compete for the position, but will most likely be running back two or three on the depth chart.

Dolphins Running Back Conclusion

Howard and Breida are the two front runners for the starting running back job. If Howard continues to disappoint the Dolphins, then Breida will be able to step up into the starting position. Howard has more talent as a running back for the Dolphins, but Breida has been more consistent in his career. My predictions for the starting job on the Dolphins is Howard, Breida, and then Ballage. Ballage will be a valuable running back to put in if Howard or Breida is tired. Overall, the position will not be easily given to any running back on the roster and it will have to be earned. 

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