How Will Miami Dolphins Use NFL’s Most Dynamic Running Back Group?

    The Miami Dolphins' track team got even faster with the arrival of running back Jaylen Wright, who should have a role in Mike McDaniel's offense in 2024.

    MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — After falling to the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round of last weekend’s NFL Draft, Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright got right to the point.

    “They don fu**ed up,” he wrote of the teams that passed on him.

    The Dolphins surely feel the same way. Letting the NFL‘s fastest team steal away the draft’s fastest running back is professional malpractice.

    How Miami Dolphins Will Use Their Dynamic Running Backs

    Drafting Wright gives the Dolphins the deepest, most dynamic RB room in football.

    He’ll start out as RB3 behind Raheem Mostert (whose 18 rushing touchdowns in 2023 broke the franchise record) and rising star De’Von Achane (whose 7.8 yards-per-carry average as a rookie were most by any NFL back with at least 100 attempts).

    “Just adding another explosive athlete to the offense, that just makes the offense way better than it already is,” Wright said Saturday, shortly after the Dolphins traded a 2025 third-round selection to take him at pick 120.

    “It’s going to be really scary. I’ve got a lot of fire built up in me through this whole process. I’m just ready to get out there and just prove my point. Make the people feel, [those] that passed on me, make them feel me. I’m just ready to bring that aggression to the field and make a lot of plays, a lot of big plays.”

    Jaylen Wright’s Rookie Role

    Beyond providing the Dolphins with yet another quality injury contingency, Wright opens up a new world of possibilities for Mike McDaniel. While Wright won’t be an every-down player, it’s fair to expect him to have a 15-play package per game. He’ll also have a chance to use his speed on special teams.

    The Dolphins’ most efficient personnel groupings in 2023 were probably when they had two running backs on the field. Pairing Achane (who had the NFL’s fourth, sixth, and 20th-fastest GPS times in 2023) and Wright (who claims he has hit a max speed of 23.7 mph) is simply unfair.

    “I think all players benefit,” McDaniel said of loading up the team’s running back room. “There’s supreme urgency to do right with the ball if you deserve to have it. Yeah, the competition is fierce. I’m fired up because we have a group of competitors that will satisfy the thirst for them.

    “It will be fierce. Depth comes into question each and every year, so you’re always looking for a full roster. I was excited that Chris [Grier] was excited to trade and add a player to the class and the competition, really across the board for our team.”

    Was Jaylen Wright Trade Good Value?

    The Wright acquisition did have its critics. Not because of fit, but because running back wasn’t a pressing need. What’s more, the Dolphins gave up a third-rounder in 2025 to take a player in the fourth in 2024.

    But Grier felt comfortable making the trade because the Dolphins expect the NFL to award them two third-round compensatory picks before the 2025 NFL Draft. And because Wright — averaged 6.2 yards per carry in his college career and gained 592 of his 1,013 yards in 2023 after contact — makes just so much sense in McDaniel’s offense.

    “We spent a lot of time getting to know him and obviously his explosiveness on the field and what he does as a running back, his toughness,” Grier said. “He’s another guy that when Mike started really watching him, he was excited for, as well as our scouts identifying him.

    “It was the ability to add a good football player. Everything is about competition. It’s a good group of guys and they understand that. So for us to add a good football player that we really liked and valued there on the board, it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”

    Dolphins Running Back Depth Chart

    Wright’s arrival means the Dolphins will have the deepest group of running backs in recent memory in 2024. Beyond Mostert, Achane, and Wright, they will probably keep one of these two on their 53-man roster:

    • Jeff Wilson Jr. (41 carries-188 yards-4.6 ypc average-0 touchdowns in 2023, logging 148 of 1,098 snaps)
    • Chris Brooks (19-106-5.6-0; 36/1,098)
    • Salvon Ahmed (22-61-2.8-1; 135/1,098)

    KEEP READING: 5 Most Interesting 2024 Miami Dolphins UDFAs

    Certainly, injuries happen, so it’s possible the competition will work itself out before final cuts. But if all six make it through the preseason healthy, expect at least one to land on the practice squad and for the Dolphins to shop those not in their plans.

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