The Dolphins signed Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds this off-season, and while those are amazing signings, for now, the draft is always about the future. The Dolphins haven’t had a true number one running back since Jay Ajayi. And how the league is evolving, there might not be the next true number one running back available for Miami. The life span of a running back is also very short, so there’s always room to add a fresh set of legs to the running back room. While this may seem like a strange draft pick because of the recent signings and the fact we have four running backs on the roster right now, upgrading or strengthening a position always trumps quantity.
We also have to ask ourselves how long Mostert and Edmonds can be serviceable as recent signings. It’s better to cut ties a year early than a year later. The running back position is a position you always want to be ahead of. For example, the Colts had a loaded running back room with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines and added Jonathan Taylor in 2020. The Rams had Darrel Henderson and Chris Daniel in 2020 and added Cam Akers. Both Organizations are now considered to have an elite rushing game and have a balanced offense.
On the other hand, the Cowboys paid Ezekiel Elliott, and he has regressed in recent years, causing the offense to be flawed and stall due to the over-dependence on Dak Prescott. Realistically Tony Pollard should be starting, and the Cowboys should have cut Elliot in order to balance than offense. But the Cowboys kept Elliot too long and now have a controversial problem at running back. This year, drafting a running back keeps that door revolving while potentially finding a stud that can bell cow for a couple of years.
I’m this upcoming draft an underrated name that should be on the Dolphins Draft Board come round 3 or 4 is James Cook. In his scouting report, he’s stated to have.
• Excellent footwork
• Excels in zone blocking schemes (which schematically works well with Mcdaniel’s offense)
• Can be used in the slot
• Excellent receiver skills
Statistically, he didn’t wow the world as his last year like other top backs, but he is a solid scheme fit that may develop into a weapon like Edmonds. Cook also does not have the same wear and tear as other running backs that come out of college due to lack of attempts. If appropriately developed, drafting Cook ensures that when Edmonds production starts to decline that Miami’s backfield doesn’t suffer as well.
James Cook Statistics 2021: 728 yards, 6.4yards per carry, 7 TD, 27 receptions, 284 yards, 4TD’s.
There are some cons to picking James Cook with any mid-round pick.
• He’s not considered the strongest or biggest running back at his position
• Struggles with blocks
• Not physical enough on some of his runs.
While there are some drawbacks, I think spending that 3rd or 4th round pick to develop this guy would add and keep momentum in Miami’s backfield as he can develop into an overall weapon. If we think about it, those 3rd, 4th, and 5th round picks are developmental players, and drafting a guy like this for the future would keep our future in a win-now position.