2022 Dolphins positional preview: RB group has quickly become loaded

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In 2021, the Miami Dolphins’ rushing attack was lackluster, to say the least.

Prior to Week 14 when Duke Johnson took over as the lead back, the Dolphins had averaged just 79.2 rushing yards per game, the second-lowest average in the NFL ahead of only Houston.

By the end of the year, Miami had improved to 92.2 yards per game, but that was still the fourth-fewest per game with Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Houston rounding out the league.

This offseason, the Dolphins made a number of moves to improve their rushing attack, including switching to a new offensive system and bringing in more talented players to block for the backs.

Before training camp starts, it’s fitting to look around and assess where the team is at each position and take stock of the players and their roles. After looking at quarterbacks on Tuesday, we’ll look at running backs.

Chase Edmonds

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Edmonds signed a two-year, $12.6 million deal with the Dolphins this offseason after spending his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. During his time with Arizona, he averaged 4.7 yards per attempt and was also a contributor in the receiving game.

At this point, it seems like Edmonds is going to be Miami’s lead back, but this backfield will obviously be splitting touches. With Edmonds’ versatility, he’ll probably see a majority of the opportunities.

Raheem Mostert

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Mostert is the biggest “boom or bust” player for Miami this season. He’s been extremely effective in his career, averaging 5.7 yards per attempt, but he’s also struggled to stay on the field, as he’s appeared in just 59 games in seven seasons.

Spending the last few seasons with Mike McDaniel in San Francisco, Mostert’s familiarity with the system should put him in competition with Edmonds for opportunities, but the former Boilermaker will need to prove that he’s healthy before that happens.

Sony Michel

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Miami has had some links to Michel in the past, and they were finally able to land him on a one-year deal worth $1.75 million. Last season, the former Georgia Bulldog was traded from New England to the Los Angeles Rams before the start of the season. He averaged 4.1 yards per attempt with Los Angeles last year, scoring four touchdowns in the process and having his most productive year as a receiver.

Michel doesn’t have the prototypical skill set that you’d expect in McDaniel’s offense, but he can be that bigger body, change-of-pace back that the offense needs. Plus, bringing in another player with a winning pedigree (two Super Bowl victories) can’t hurt.

Myles Gaskin

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Gaskin is the top returning back from 2021, but he’s expected to be dropped down to fourth on the depth chart, and he’ll be fighting for a spot on the roster during training camp.

Last year, he averaged a lowly 3.5 yards per carry, but he was able to score seven total touchdowns. Like Edmonds, Gaskin has the versatility, but he hasn’t proved that he deserves one of the top spots just yet. That could change in a month, or he could continue falling down the depth chart and give the Dolphins a reason to trade him.

Salvon Ahmed

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Ahmed is also returning after 2021, as the Dolphins tendered him as an exclusive rights free agent this offseason. Since making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Ahmed has totaled just 458 yards and three touchdowns on 3.6 yards per carry. Those numbers aren’t going to cut it.

If Ahmed wants to make this roster he’s going to have to really show up and show out during training camp and let everyone know that it wasn’t his ability that’s held him back in his first two seasons.

Gerrid Doaks

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Doaks was a seventh-round pick in 2021 that ended up making it onto the practice squad. Despite all of the issues that the team had at the position throughout the year, the former Cincinnati Bearcat was never called up to the active roster.

This year, Doaks will once again be fighting for a spot, but there’s even more competition for the practice squad than there was last year. There’s a real chance he gets cut and finds a spot on another team’s practice squad.

ZaQuandre White

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

White was this year’s undrafted addition out of South Carolina. Prior to the draft, he was projected to go in the mid-to-late rounds, but fortunately for Miami, he was available to be signed afterward.

McDaniel has already talked White up during their brief work together through minicamps and OTAs, so it seems he’s already making an impression on the coaching staff. If he has a productive summer, he could find himself on the practice squad.

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