The Miami Dolphins picked up Myles Gaskin in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft, 234th overall.
Not a lot was expected from the running back, but after an impressive 2020, what can we expect from Gaskin in 2021?
Fighting Off Competition
Gaskin had a limited role in the Dolphins’ disappointing 2019 season, with just 36 carries and 7 receptions all season.
During the 2020 offseason, the Dolphins acquired Matt Breida and Jordan Howard in Free Agency. These were expected to be the two main backs going into the campaign, but Gaskin managed to gain more playing time and eventually would become the lead back.
Breida is no longer a Dolphin, departing in Free Agency, and is now a Buffalo Bill. Jordan Howard was released after just five games.
In the end, Breida failed to score a touchdown all season and only ran for 254 yards. His longest rushing attempt all season was just 24 yards. Howard did score four touchdowns in the five games he played for the Dolphins but only ran for 60 yards and his longest rushing attempt was 8 yards.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) March 31, 2021
Whilst he was given a chance due to the lack of production from Breida and Howard, Gaskin has done an excellent job in beating off the competition from two players in his position. This shows the ability of the former Washington college back and the level of fight inside him.
How Gaskin Can Progress In 2021 and Beyond
Gaskin only recorded 16 rushing attempts in Miami’s opening two games but had 22 in the Week 3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He may have only scored three rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns all season, but he got better and became more crucial to the Dolphins’ offense.
This most notably came in the Week 16 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Gaskin ran for 87 rushing yards and recorded 82 receiving yards, and catching for two touchdown receptions.
With the Dolphins down 22-16 in the fourth quarter with 3:08 remaining, Ryan Fitzpatrick found Gaskin around the 50-yard line. Gaskin beat everyone around him, breaking two tackles before taking the ball to the end zone. This gave Miami the lead in a crucial game.
This ending was BONKERS. 😲 pic.twitter.com/kMncORARo7
— NFL (@NFL) March 12, 2021
It is performances like these that show how Gaskin can be Miami’s lead back going into 2021 and beyond, but will there be a running back taken by Miami in the Draft?
Miami Taking A Running Back In The Draft?
However, the Dolphins have bigger positions of need. Salvon Ahmed recorded an average of over 50 yards per game during his six appearances in a Dolphins jersey in 2020.
There are other running backs that could be taken in the draft, but there does not feel to be an urgent desire for one. Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers was linked to making a move to South Beach in Free Agency but decided to put pen to paper to a new four-year deal to stay in Wisconsin.
Wide receiver, offensive line, and a true pass rusher are positions that head coach Brian Flores and General Manager Chris Grier should prioritize. Gaskin deserves at least the next season or two to prove he is the starter in Miami.