Miami Dolphins minicamp is underway as they look ahead to the 2021 NFL season. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been under the spotlight for good and bad, but he has been said to “love” running back Jordan Scarlett.
Scarlett, a fifth-round pick for the Carolina Panthers in the 2019 NFL draft, was picked up for the Dolphins during the 2021 offseason. This was after being waived by the Panthers and only making the Detroit Lions practice squad.
With a running back already filled with Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, and Malcolm Brown, can Scarlett make an impact in the 2021 season and beyond?
Playing For His Hometown Team In College
Scarlett was born in Florida and went to high school in St. Thomas Aquinas High School. This school has notable alumni such as Damon Arnette, Geno Atkins, Giovani Bernard, Joey and Nick Bosa, Phillip Dorsett, James White, and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
He played his college for the Florida Gators, remaining in his hometown. During his three seasons with the Gators, Scarlett recorded 12 touchdowns and 1,846 rushing yards in 344 attempts. This amounts to 5.4 yards per carry. These numbers will not blow teams away, which is likely to have been the reason he was only taken in the fifth round.
Sometimes players can take longer than others to develop, and Scarlett will hope to prove to be another one of those players. He has already impressed Tua in minicamp. But can he impress head coach Brian Flores?
Myles Gaskin’s 2020
If Scarlett is to have a successful stint on South Beach, he has a battle on his hands against Gaskin, Ahmed, and Brown. However, these are three running backs who have experience overcoming adversity to earn a spot in the 52-man roster.
Gaskin was a seventh-round pick in the same draft as Scarlett and had an encouraging season in 2020.
He played ten games last season and recorded 584 rushing yards from 142 carries, 388 receiving yards from 41 receptions. This is as well as three rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns. So it works out as 4.1 rushing yards per carry and 9.5 receiving yards per reception.
The Rest Of The Running Back Room and Scarlett Overcoming The Competition
Both Ahmed and Brown were Undrafted Free Agents in 2020 and 2015, respectively. Ahmed was initially signed by the San Francisco 49ers before being waived before Miami’s start of the 2020 season. During their 22-12 win over the New England Patriots on December 20th, he became the Dolphins’ first 100-yard rusher since Kalen Ballage in December 2018. He finished the season with 319 rushing yards and three touchdowns from 75 carries during his six games, which equals 4.25 rushing yards per carry.
Brown was picked up by the St. Louis Rams in 2015. He took a while to settle in during his first two seasons, in which the Rams moved to Los Angeles. As his carries increased, so did his yardage. During his final two seasons as a Ram, he recorded five touchdowns in both seasons. Across 2019 and 202, he recorded a combined total of 674 yards.
He was never the lead back for the Rams but did a good job as the RB2 or RB3. One of his best moments in a Rams jersey was his two touchdowns during week 1 of the 2020 season against the Dallas Cowboys. Scarlett will likely be the second or third choice back in Miami. Despite this, he will likely feature due to the modern-day need for multiple running backs.
Scarlett will be under no illusion that he needs to take his chance when it comes his way. However, the early signs from minicamp show that Scarlett has a good chance of getting that opportunity in 2021.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) June 25, 2021
The Offseason Work By Scarlett
Nick Hicks from PER4ORM has been working alongside Tua. He is seen as one of the nation’s best trainers. He spoke highly of not only Tua but also Scarlett. This is someone that has been training with Hicks since high school. Scarlett is said to be in the best shape of his life.
“Scarlett has put the work in this offseason and has done everything he was asked to do. He will do whatever he needs to do to help the team win. Tua loves him, and Scarlett has impressed through his knowledge of the playbook. There was one play where Scarlett reminded Tua that he is meant to be under center when running a shotgun play”, Hicks said when discussing Scarlett.”
Scarlett appears to have the work ethic needed for any professional to be successful. This can go a long way not only in ensuring he makes the final 52-man roster. It will also play a big role for him having a successful NFL career beyond that.