Ranking Top-20 Nfl Running Backs Heading Into 2018: Kenyan Drake

DKphin

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19. Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins

Drake added some weight this offseason and should be on course for a breakout year after averaging 4.8 yards per carry in 2017. Though, the presence of veteran addition Frank Gore stands to throw a monkey wrench into Drake’s work load at times. Gore did not join the Dolphins to twiddle his thumbs on sidelines. Though realistically, the Dolphins should primarily focus on crafting Drake into their bell-cow back. Drake is 11 years Gore’s junior and proved he could handle a lead role when it was assigned last season.

https://sportsnaut.com/2018/06/ranking-top-20-nfl-running-backs-2018/
 

The Goat

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Jerick McKinnon is not a better back than Kenyan Drake, and Rashad Penny at 20...with Fournette not even on the list...is laughable.

Edit: I didn't see Fournette at 10. My bad.
 

Miamifinz

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I definitely think If the OL raises their level of play Kenyan will easily get over 1000 yards. Frank Gore will get his fair share of carries especially on short yardage situations. I felt like we could not convert on a lot of 3rd/4th and short situations last year. It shouldn’t be a problem this year.
 

Crump

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meh, shes wrong, but pretty sure she is just talking about this for fantasy football purposes, not legitimate who is the best. it says she post on FF websites.
 

ckparrothead

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A lot of people like to project off Kenyan Drake's last 5 games when he more clearly became a bell cow that was getting the football 20-25 times. I'm not sure that I'm all about that because I don't think Adam Gase believes in that anymore. He went down that road with Jay Ajayi and he didn't like the results.

Rather I would look at the final 9 games because that's when the Dolphins traded Jay Ajayi and from then on they were working some combination of Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. I think that projects well because Miami will be using some combination of Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore, with perhaps Kalen Ballage subbing in for any injuries.

Over the final 9 games though, Drake was averaging 95 all purpose yards and half a touchdown per game, on better than 5.0 yards per carry. If we are talking about ranking that around the league, that's the #7 fantasy football running back in the NFL. And it isn't as if he did all that with great OL play.
 

hoops

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Scheme driven run game. No one should be butt hurt about where they are ranked.
 

circumstances

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If he approaches Ajayi touches it'll be because he's catching the crap out of the ball.
 

Danny

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It doesn't matter where anyone is ranked. This is not college football. What matters is what they do out on the field. I believe our RB's will be fine as long as they get a little help from the O-line.
 

DuderinoN703

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It doesn't matter where anyone is ranked. This is not college football. What matters is what they do out on the field. I believe our RB's will be fine as long as they get a little help from the O-line.
Talk about mind blowing analysis. :D
 

BSQ

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Drake looks like a different guy. He's even showing some great leadership the way he's working with Ballage. He has a bunch more muscle weight that will translate to power on the field. That translates to breaking tackles. I saw a kid, last season, that rarely had even a crack to run through. He had to made jump cuts and all kinds of other shifty moves before he'd get to the LOS. He still looked great out there. He reminds me of O.J. Simpson the way he can change direction on a dime and freaking pirouette to evade tacklers. Drake is fun to watch and if he has actual holes to run through the Dolphins offense will be rolling. That run game leads to play action and if Tannehill is really good at anything it's running a play action based attack. There are numbers to back that up.

Different subject-when the Dolphins selected Jerome Baker in round 3, Mason Rudolph, Mike Mayock's #5 QB was on the board for the taking. The Steelers wasted no time snagging him. Baker likely, will help us more this season than Rudolph would have as a maybe back up QB. But, how will this decision play out longer term. Will Baker be a total stud and Rudolph a bust or will it be the other way around. This is an interesting one to keep an eye on. The old Dolphin luck would have Ben go down and Rudolph step in an become the second coming of Dan Marino while Baker never really adjusts to the speed of the NFL game! But!!! I feel that crap is over and we are in for a stretch of good luck.
 

WCUPUNK

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kind of surprised to see Ajayi so high up on the list since he is going to be splitting carries with Clement and Sproles.
 

Digital

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Projecting Drake involves too many variables right now. Consider this:

1. Tannehill, completely different type of QB to Cutler, and a far better QB with a far better command of the offense. We will throw more effectively, and be able to use Drake against nickel and dime defenses more, which means he'll get past the line of scrimmage, and face faster players.

2. Sitton, & Davis are superior run blockers to Bushrod and Pouncey at the point of attack, but the downfield blocks Pouncey provided will not be there. This means we will spring Drake more, but not always have the success in the secondary that Drake had at the end of the season last year. All in all, his numbers should go up, but up from his season total, not necessarily those last 5 games.

3. Gesicki and Smythe enable Tannehill to move the chains more effectively and give us flexibility to audible run/pass. This may lead to less carries by Drake, but greater efficiency for him and far better production for the offense.

4. Injuries played a part in Drake's success towards the end of the year. Defenses were worn down, not always fully motivated and missing influential defenders. That all gets reset this year.

5. Expectations are always higher when a RB gets more carries and is a primary offensive weapon. We saw it with every RB who stepped up his carries, and Drake will be no different. When the defense keys on you more, you're less productive, that's just how it is.

6. We may actually play with more leads, meaning the defenses will key more on run plays and it may mean Drake is instructed to stay in bounds more, limiting his desire to streak the sidelines.

7. At the end of the day, this is Gase's make or break year. If we go 8-8 or better, Gase stays, if we go 7-9 or below, he's definitely on the hot seat. In essence, it's Gase's contract year. He's going to go down slingin' it with Tannehill, so we're likely not going to see monster carriers for Drake.

Given the dramatic change in personnel (Tannehill, Amendola/Wilson, Sitton, Kilgrave-errr-I-mean-Kilgore, Gesicki, Smythe, Ballage on 3rd downs), and the re-focusing of the offense to use TE's and play to Tannehill's strengths, the level of change is high. Drake's new reality is going to be affected by so many different influences, that it's very iffy to project how he does. All in all, he should be improved over his numbers last year … but compared to his exceptional run the last 5 games … that may be asking too much. It will be fun to see him do it if he can though.
 
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