Former free agent RB Knowshon Moreno agreed to a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. Moreno’s signing provides the Dolphins with the all-around, every-down back they desperately needed.
The Dolphins’ ground game was abysmal at times last season, running for less than 25 yards four times. As previously stated, Miami lacked a RB with the necessary skills to stay on the field every down, such as the ability to pass block and catch passes out of the backfield.
This hindered the Dolphins’ offense and made upgrading the RB position a priority this offseason for new GM Dennis Hickey.
Hickey had plans to address the RB spot through the draft — which he likely will still do — but Moreno, who had 1,038 rushing yards, 548 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns last season, was the exact type of veteran presence that the Dolphins’ backfield needed.
Moreno’s playing style isn’t flashy, but he provides pass catching, blocking, strong running, a nose for the end zone and leadership. But perhaps the most important thing that Moreno provides is draft flexibility.
The Dolphins were set to enter this May’s NFL Draft with the need for an all-around back, a role that only a few backs in this draft (if any) could have filled. This means the Dolphins would have likely ended up reaching to grab the RB who fits the profile.
With Moreno, the Dolphins have the luxury of patience. Miami can draft the best player available to get the best values available. Value is what a good GM brings his team.
The Dolphins could find Tre Mason, Ka’Deem Carey or Carlos Hyde — the draft’s top RBs this year — still on the board in the third round and groom them to be the RB of the future without the pressure of being an immediate difference maker.
The Dolphins could also draft a later round running back, such as Charlie Sims or Marion Grice, with the hopes of finding a late-round gem.
Draft flexibility is only possible because of the signing of Moreno. The Dolphins will become a better team and will greatly benefit by drafting the best player on their board rather than reaching for needs.
Check out my breakdown of the Dolphins’ RB position from a few days ago here.