After inexplicably underutilizing him for three straight seasons, the Miami Dolphins lost running back Lamar Miller to the Houston Texans in free agency. That leaves 2015 fifth-round pick Jay Ajayi, and his 49 carries as a rookie, atop the depth chart with an unimpressive crew behind him (Daniel Thomas, Isaiah Pead, Damien Williams).
Dolphins’ general manager Chris Grier has said the team is comfortable with their current group of running backs, which reeks of a pre-draft smokescreen. Miami has been heavily linked to Ohio State‘s Ezekiel Elliott in recent weeks, and the top running back in this year’s draft class is firmly in play for them with the 13th overall pick.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald has reported the Dolphins are exploring moving up from No. 13, with Elliott or UCLA linebacker Myles Jack as the targets. Elliott is by far the better target in a trade back up in the first round, even leaving aside concerns about Jack’s knee, since he fits a clear need for the Dolphins.
If a move up to get Elliott does not happen and he’s gone by the time Miami goes on the clock in the first round, all is not lost. There are some good prospects that will be available on Day 2 of the draft, including Devontae Booker, Jordan Howard, Kenyan Drake, Kenneth Dixon, C.J. Prosise, Alex Collins and Tyler Ervin.
Miami can’t ignore the running back position during the upcoming draft, that much is certain. Getting Elliott would be the perfect scenario, but if the Dolphins don’t at least come out of Friday night’s rounds with a running back, they’ve made a big mistake.