How Jaylen Wright fit into Dolphins backfield? Find out what intrigued Dolphins

Rookie tailback Jaylen Wright didn’t need to get familiar with one of his new Miami Dolphins teammates because he has been studying him for years.

Wright, the former Tennessee standout the Dolphins traded a 2025 third-round pick to Philadelphia for the right to select with the 120th pick in the 2024 NFL draft, has been a fan of fellow tailback Raheem Mostert for years, and admits to studying film of the 9-year veteran, who worked his way up NFL practice squads into a starting role, for at least the past three years.

“He’s fast and physical. He’s got great contact balance and is someone that’s elusive. He’s really good in open space, he gets scary,” Wright said of Mostert, who was voted to his first Pro Bowl last season after gaining 1,012 rushing yards on 209 regular-season carries and setting a franchise-record by scoring 21 touchdowns. “He’s a great player. A great athlete and I’m ready to learn from him.”

Mostert has openly pledged to mentor Wright, just like he did Jeff Wilson Jr. in their early days together with the San Francisco 49ers, and De’Von Achane, the Dolphins’ 2023 third-round pick, last season.

“The more the merrier,” Mostert said earlier this week when asked about the Dolphins selecting a tailback early for the second straight draft. “We can utilize a lot of different attributes, and speed is definitely an attribute that we like to maximize to the most of our abilities. So to be able to have another guy come into the mix and bring his attributes, and his contributions into the offense, and his speed is definitely going to be very beneficial on our part.”

Mostert hinted that there’s a chance Miami, which had NFL’s top yards-per-carry average last season (5.08), could utilize a package that features three tailbacks on the field together. While that’s a stretch, especially considering how talented Miami’s trio of receivers (Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Odell Beckham Jr.) are, Mostert’s aware the odds of him having another 200-plus carry season are slim, especially at the ripe age of 32.


At Tennessee, the Volunteers had three backs who shared the tailback workload. That’s why Wright doesn’t have a high odometer reading (368 carries and 30 receptions in three seasons) entering the NFL, which is something that usually appealed to NFL teams.

Wright, who recorded career bests in rushing yards (1,013), yards per attempt (7.39) and yards per game (84.4) on 137 carries last season, stressed that he enjoyed sharing the workload in college and believes tailback-by-committee approaches have more upside than giving one player a featured role.

“I like to see my other guys eat, get the ball. We all eating, and I think that’s going to be the same way here,” said Wright, who participated in the Dolphins rookie camp this weekend. “Whoever gets on the field makes big plays. I like it. It does keep us fresh. That’s the new model, three great backs. That really good to have.”

Wright has two attributes that stood out significantly to NFL teams, and both inspired the Dolphins to trade into the first round of the third day to get secure a player the franchise felt had great value in the third day of the draft.

The first is his speed, which was on full display with the Volunteers because of how few times he faced an eight-man boxes because of the Volunteers unique offense, which features massive receiver splits.

When given a crease of daylight, Wright often produced long gains in Tennessee’s outside zone running scheme, which is similar to what Miami runs. The similarity in schemes is part of the reason Wright began studying Mostert, who is viewed as outside zone specialist.

Wright’s college film was backed up by impressive combine numbers, seeing as how he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash, which was the second fastest time posted by a tailback at the NFL combine.

He also produced a 134-inch broad jumped (98th percentile) and a 38-inch vertical (86th percentile), which are indicators of how dynamic an athlete he is.

The second attribute was his pass protection prowess, which received rave reviews in the draft process.

That means Wright can handle being part of Miami’s third down packages because he’s adept at protecting the quarterback, picking up blitzers.

“I’m excited to share the rock with them, be that trio able to make a lot of players this summer and fall,” Wright said. “I’m ready to go. I’m ready to prove to everyone that I belong here.”


To earn that trio talk Wright will need to leapfrog Salvon Ahmed, Wilson and Chris Brooks on the depth chart because Miami’s culture under head coach Mike McDaniel dictates that everything is earned, and little is given.

“I’m fired up because we have a group of competitors that will satisfy the thirst,” McDaniel said about Miami’s tailback depth. “[Competition] will be fierce. Depth comes into question each and every year, so you’re always looking for a full roster.

Keep in mind that Achane spent most of training camp and the exhibition season as Miami’s No. 4 back, playing behind Ahmed, until Ahmed got hurt, and Achane blew up in his first featured back opportunity, gaining 203 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 18 carries in Miami’s 70-20 win over the Denver Broncos.

Based on history, the opportunity will be there to impress, like Achane did because Mostert isn’t getting any younger, and Achane spent a good portion of last season injured because of various injuries.

Wright admitted he’s fueled by falling into the third day of the draft.

“It happened how it did, and I ended up at the best spot for me. I ended up in the best situation,” Wright said. “I’m happy. I’m blessed, and I’m going to keep that chip on my shoulder to remind these teams why they shouldn’t have passed on me.They let a great team get a dog, and that’s on them.”