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Confidence in Miami Dolphins Offense

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When was the last time we were more confident in the lackeys running the Miami Dolphins‘ front office compared to the participants running around on the field?

Those lackeys have the luxury of batting 1.000%* since they haven’t done anything wrong (yet), which means they have the fans on their side and (most of) the media in their good graces.

*Chris Grier is like that skeptical player with an asterisk next to them during the Steroids Era in baseball. He’s finally the main man in charge, but he was also previously “in charge”…

After swinging a value-trade for former first-round quarterback Josh Rosen – and essentially slow-playing the market into his favor – Grier and his staff have given us enough reasons to trust his process just a few short months into it.

Our confidence is growing, even if the 2019 win total isn’t expected to follow.

But our confidence is growing in Brian Flores and Chris Grier, not necessarily the roster they’ve put together. That roster is a bit….frail.

In reality, there are only a handful of players we have genuine confidence in. You can skew that number a bit if you want to include Jason Sanders, John Denney and the special teams version of Walt Aikens; but truth be told, this team is a long way away from being properly built.

Is all of that 2020 draft capital for a quarterback? Or was it to build a better team around a player they knew they could obtain cheaply this year (Rosen)?

Free agency hasn’t concluded, but free agency isn’t going to yield Miami any more “confident” starters. Miami may fill out the rest of the roster by splurging for players other teams don’t want, but you’re not making your 2020 playoff run with any of these characters.

Below are the offensive players we are confident will be productive players for the Dolphins, both in 2019 or in the future:

Offensive Line
Confidence Level: 1
Confident Players: 1

Assuming the Dolphins front office has any kind of competence, Laremy Tunsil is expected to remain on the Miami Dolphins long-term.

He’s one of the best players at his position, and, assuming he’s healthy, will be an elite talent at the position for another 5-7 years.

Outside of Tunsil, are you confident in newly acquired 3rd-round pick Michael Deiter? He’s a completely different player and situation than any of these other previous draft picks, but when was the last time the Dolphins drafted a competent offensive lineman outside of the 1st-round?

Answer: Rex Hadnot
Year: 2004

Since then, the Dolphins have drafted the following offensive linemen between the 2nd and 5th rounds: Isaac Asiata, Jamil Douglas, Billy Turner, Dallas Thomas, Jonathan Martin, John Jerry, Shawn Murphy, Samson Satele, Joe Toledo, and Anthony Alabi.

Since becoming the director of college scouting in 2007, Grier hasn’t drafted (or convinced his general mangers to draft) a single competent starter on the offensive line outside of the first round. The team’s 1st-round picks? Jake Long, Mike Pouncey, Ja’Wuan James and Laremy Tunsil. All of them very good players for stints of time, but only one of them is worthy of being a franchise player.

I’m not going to exile Deiter from the offensive line before he plays a snap, but you can see why my confidence in this pick is timid at best.

Besides Deiter and Tunsil, you have Daniel Kilgore returning at the age of 31 to play center, and you have Jesse Davis playing somewhere on the right side of the offensive line.

Kilgore missed 11+ games last season after tearing his triceps in Week 4 against the New England Patriots. Aside from returning from a gruesome injury, Kilgore is another year older and isn’t all too great to begin with. He was supposed to act as the weakest link between Tunsil, Josh Sitton, Davis and James. Now he’s expected to anchor the middle of the offensive line as the 3rd-best player in the unit.

We expected much more out of Jesse Davis last season, and he certainly disappointed, but at least we know he’s durable, reliable, and will be in the starting lineup each week. That counts for something. It also leads to increased sack totals for the opposing defense, so that value only goes so far.

I’m not considering Davis a hole on the line, but I’m not confident in him either – and that’s a downgrade from where I would have viewed Davis after 2017.

The biggest problem for the offensive line hasn’t even been listed out yet, and that’s the fact that Miami only has four starters. You need five.

6th-round draft pick Isaiah Prince will have a fair shot at manning the right tackle position, but who knows how well that camp battle will go.

Without a solidified right tackle, Miami is tiptoeing dangerously into the regular season – especially with a quarterback they’re hoping to properly judge within a 16-game span.

The good thing about expectations is when you (literally) don’t have any, it can only pleasantly surprise you. Or it goes exactly as intended and you don’t even have to break a sweat.

Tight Ends
Confidence Level: 2
Confident Players: 0

An upgrade from the offensive line mainly because the position group isn’t as necessary and the Dolphins will be able to get by with Dwayne Allen as an average combination of receiver & blocker, the tight end group is about as barren as the team’s offensive line depth.

Former 2nd-round pick Mike Gesicki has gone from being the sexiest draft pick of 2018 to being overlooked as a productive player. For as likely as he is to have a breakout season, don’t be surprised to see him released if he has a subpar training camp. Gesicki is going to need to prove to this coaching staff that he belongs as a receiving threat – or that his blocking isn’t a complete liability.

If Gesicki can work on his route running, he might become a reliable target for Rosen or Ryan Fitzpatrick. Though do you have any confidence that’ll happen?

His fellow 2018 draftee Durham Smythe should find a spot on this roster a bit more easily, but how valuable is a blocking tight end when Allen serves the same purpose?

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Smythe off this roster if the team feels it doesn’t want to lose another player on the bubble (such as Dee Delaney or Jonathan Woodard).

Nick O’Leary received a contract extension shortly before Mike Tannenbaum and Adam Gase were relieved of their respective duties. Whether or not he remains on the team after training camp depends on how this coaching staff believes it can utilize O’Leary.

As another generic tight end, he has an equal shot of making or missing the roster as both Smythe and Gesicki do.

The only player “guaranteed” to make the 2019 roster is Allen, and, unless he doesn’t mind becoming a mentor assisting from the bench, it’s unlikely he’s still around in 2020. If he is, your plan for the position went more awry than the Jordan Cameron and Julius Thomas experiments the past few years.

Wide Receivers
Confidence Level: 4
Confident Players: 1

This rating doesn’t reflect the “talent” the Miami Dolphins have on their roster.

I firmly believe that the combination of Kenny Stills, a healthy DeVante Parker and…..oh….wait….there is no combination anymore. That combination ceased in 2017 when Jarvis Landry played his final games for Miami.

Albert Wilson filled in admirably and was a better player (in terms of value) than Landry was in 2018, but that was only for the first 7 games of the season.

Landry played all 16 games, like every other year of his career, while Wilson limps into 2019 with the possibility of not making the roster. While unlikely for him to be released, if the team feels it cannot utilize Wilson properly at the start of the season, and a stint on IR (with the designation to return) doesn’t match his timetable to return, Miami may release the dynamic receiver.

That’s the last thing we want to happen to one of our 2018 Offensive MVPs, but we also didn’t expect Tony Lippett to be released following his torn achilles either.

This league is cruel and cutthroat, and for a team building towards 2020, it seems unlikely Wilson is around for the rebuild. Why block the growth and potential of other prospects while trying to rehab a player on the field?

Jakeem Grant proved to be a desired returner and supplemental receiver when the formation calls for it. His hands might as well have stared right into Medusa’s eyes with how hard they are, but his shiftiness was a welcomed compliment to an offense that thrived off of deception.

An achilles injury in Week 10 caused him to miss the remainder of the season, and possibly a bid to last year’s Pro Bowl. It also may have hindered the promising progress he was making up to this point.

Though his injury didn’t seem as detrimental as Wilson’s, at this moment, you can’t confidently say Grant is a reliable receiver worthy of the 3rd starting spot on the roster.

Like the rest of this century, this offensive group offers a lot of hope. Which, as Dolphins fans, means it’s most certainly going to disappoint…

Running Backs
Confidence Level: 6
Confident Players: 1

Outside of Ryan Tannehill individually, Miami’s running backs have received more excuses than anyone else on the team.

Whether it was an anemic offensive line, incompetent play calls from a former offensive guru, or quarterback play that was so putrid that opposing defenses knew to stack the box, Miami’s running backs have been let off of the hook.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that it’s the only position group that effectively produces on offense, fans have favored players like Jay Ajayi, Reggie Bush, Ricky Williams and Travis Minor. Fans let former #2-overall pick Ronnie Brown off the hook for being the most influential draft pick this century (could have had Aaron Rodgers). Even former flame-outs like Mike Gillislee get the benefit of the doubt for their unmemorable time in Miami.

These position groups perform, but do they perform as well as we believe or is this just a byproduct of having a piss-poor passing game?

Since Ricky Williams decided to retire the first time in 2004, the Dolphins have averaged 17th in rushing yards, 14th in yards per carry and 18th in rushing touchdowns:

Their best rushing season was 2009 (4th), but they only had 2 seasons within the top-10 (out of a possible 14 seasons – 14.3%). Only one of those was a top-5 season (7.1%) and only 6 seasons are within the top-15 (42.9%).

I’m confident Miami has running backs that will produce, but how well will they produce? Frank Gore left for the Buffalo Bills, and he had only 4 less rushing yards than Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage combined in 2018 (722 vs 726).

This is where the excuse of mismanagement comes into play. We have to think this coaching staff will figure out how to utilize Drake better than Adam Gase ever did, but is that guaranteed? In his three NFL seasons, Drake has averaged 453 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns per season.

And he’s the player we’re confident in.

Chandler Cox and Myles Gaskin look like powerful additions to the roster, but we have no idea how either will perform in training camp.

Ballage is the wildcard of the bunch – his evolution can turn this rushing attack into a legitimate duel threat. It can also hinder this unit from becoming any kind of threat at all.

If the offensive line can’t keep Rosen up long enough to establish a feared passing game, how is the running game going to thrive?

We hope Ballage’s evolution is legitimate, but we don’t know any of that until training camp begins.

What we do know is that the Dolphins have 3 offensive players we’re confident in. You play with 11 plays on each side of the ball. I’m no Dawn Aponte, but that ratio is atrocious.

Growing up a passionate Dolphins fan in Jets territory, Jason learned from an early age that life as a Dolphins fan wasn’t going to be easy. Previously the Sports Editor for his university newspaper, Jason has experience writing columns, creating game recaps and conducting interviews with Hall of Fame athletes (Harry Carson and Yogi Berra are two of his proudest interviews). When he’s not dissecting the latest sports news, you can find him perplexed over the Dolphins offensive line woes or involuntarily introducing music to his neighbors.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tinindian

    May 1, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    I guess I have a lot more confidence in our receivers than you do, except Devante Parker. I’d take Albert Wilson over Parker 100 times out of 100. Parker has been nothing but a disappointment and I’m really aggravated he didn’t get shipped out in the off season.

    • Jason Hrina

      Jason Hrina

      May 7, 2019 at 10:16 am

      I would take a healthy Albert Wilson over DeVante Parker every year. My biggest concern is Wilson’s healthy. Will he be the same, shifty receiver he was for us in 2018? I’m hopeful, but I can’t say I’m firmly “confident” in Wilson at this moment (we’ll know more when Training Camp rolls around).

  2. Avatar

    David Holcomb

    May 1, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills are unstoppable when both WRs are on the field. Just look at the highlights in 2016 when Matt Moore took over the reigns. Josh Rosen is going to have a field day when he take the riegns, Miami will have a potent offense and I predict that they will win 11 or 12 games and win their division this season..

  3. Avatar

    Joe

    May 2, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    David, lemme get some of what you’re smoking please

    • Jason Hrina

      Jason Hrina

      May 7, 2019 at 10:18 am

      I do like David’s optimism, though I may be more inclined to join you, Joe.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Browns Week 12 Preview

Travis Wingfield

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Phins limp into Cleveland, hope to return to winning ways

Who: Dolphins (2-8) at Cleveland (4-6)
When: Sunday November 24, 1:00 East
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium – Cleveland, OH
Weather: 42 degrees, 14 MPH winds
Vegas Slant: Dolphins +10.5

It’s a prevailing “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am” from the odds makers in Vegas. The Phins six-point-underdog status against a 6-3 Buffalo squad was Miami’s first spread of less than a touchdown this season against a winning team.

The Browns are not a winning team, but they welcome Miami into Cleveland as double digit dogs fresh off the team’s best defensive performance of the season.

Of course, the only thing anybody remembers from that fateful Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium was the helmet swing heard ‘round the world. As a result, the Browns will be without their best player in Myles Garrett, and best interior defensive lineman in Larry Ogunjobi (both suspended for Sunday’s game).

Miami are reeling in their own right. Bobby McCain and Reshad Jones were on the field Sunday against the Bills, both are now on the injured reserve. I lack the historical knowledge to confidently make this claim, but it would seem that the Dolphins are approaching unprecedented territory in the secondary.

Of Miami’s 11 active defensive backs, 10 were added to the roster this year. Five of the 11 were added in-season, and two more were picked up on the September 1st league cut-down day. Suddenly, alongside Walt Aikens and Eric Rowe, the next longest-tenured Dolphins defensive backs are Jomal Wiltz, Nik Needham and Chris Lammons.

Victory in this contest seemed achievable just one week ago, but now Miami will have to pull off a considerable upset to get to the winner’s circle for the third time this season.

The Scheme:

Offense:

The Freddie Kitchens dynamic has been one of the more fascinating sub-plots of the 2019 NFL season. His pressers have been combative, and the only thing that’s been lacking more than Freddie’s accountability has been his ingenuity as a play caller.

Two weeks ago against the Bills, Freddie went eight consecutive goal-to-go situations (all inside the five) without knocking down the door to the end zone. That sequence demonstrated all of Cleveland’s issues on the season — no identity, no conviction, and no aggression.

An offense that produced the first back to gain 1,000 rushing yards on the season (Nick Chubb) has been more pass-centric than you’d assume for a team with the NFL’s second-leading rusher.

Cleveland runs a 60-40 split in favor of the pass. The Browns rank 22nd in total offense, 21st in passing, 12th in rushing and 25th in scoring.

Defense:

Steve Wilks knows one speed — and it’s measured in blitzes. With his full complement of pass rushers (no Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi or Olivier Vernon this week), Wilks likes to send pressure to create one-on-one matchups on every snap.

Cleveland ranks 4th in the NFL in blitz percentage at a clip of 39.5% sending five or more rushers at the quarterback. The Browns rank 11th in both pressure percentage and QB knockdown rate. With 30 sacks, Cleveland is 8th in sacks, but will they be able to get the same pressure without its most successful triumvirate?

With plenty of disguise on the back-end, Wilks will look to bait and trap Ryan Fitzpatrick into quick throws, funneling mistakes to his head hunting ball hawks in the secondary. The Browns will fly to the ball and lay the wood, but they will miss their fair share of tackles (11th most missed tackles in football).

The Players:

Offense:

Nick Chubb is a special player and deserving of the marquee among a cast of star-studded players. He’s a quick decision maker that hits the hole with acceleration, and pushes the second and third level of the defense into business decisions with his aggressive, physical style.

Chubb is paired with Kareem Hunt, who’s a pass-catching dynamo. Hunt converted three separate third-down-and-long plays into first downs against Pittsburgh, and his fresh legs will give Cleveland a nice boost down the stretch.

Baker Mayfield’s been much maligned this season for his brash attitude and minimal production to back it up. He’s turned the ball over too much, but he’s heating up and nothing will get him back on track like a date with the severely under-manned Dolphins defense.

The matchup between Nik Needham and O’Dell Beckham should give Dolphins fans a true test of whether or not the rookie is for real. Needham has played a pro-bowl level since seizing the starting job in the absence of Xavien Howard, and shutting down a player of Beckham’s caliber will further the former UDFA’s prospects as a starter in 2020.

Cleveland’s offensive line is a bit of a mess. J.C. Tretter captains the group at center, but it’s been a trial-by-fire situation at either tackle position. Miami’s edge rush has its best chance to get going Sunday in Cleveland.

Defense:

Without Garrett the spotlight turns to a couple of other players that don’t always get proper due. Joe Schobert has more than double the run-stops of anybody else on the Cleveland defense, and he’s made the splash play when the Browns needed it this season.

Denzel Ward is allowing a passer rating of just 68.1 against his coverage area, and he’s done that without the benefit of an interception to skew those numbers. He’s allowed just 15 receptions on 39 targets — a completion percentage of 38.5%.

Safety Morgan Burnett had a big night in the Pittsburgh win, but he left that game with an injury. He should be ready to play Sunday, and if he can’t, the Browns have depth with Sheldrick Redwine and Damarious Randall working in on sub-packages.

The Medical:

The Opportunities:

Mayfield’s issues rolling right are well documented, but does Miami have the front-seven firepower to put the quarterback under duress? A big game from Vince Biegel could be on the horizon, but it’s interior pressure that has been an issue for Mayfield and the Browns offense. When Miami does get Cleveland into long down-and-distances, they have to get pressure and create takeaways.

Where Miami have been one of the league’s most disciplined teams, Cleveland is a polar opposite. The Browns will attempt to beat themselves, it’s on Miami to capitalize on those opportunities.

The Concerns:

The inexperienced secondary up against a receiving corps of O’Dell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and the potential return of David Njoku is a terrifying thought for Miami. And that’s before we even get to the difficulties of slowing a top-five rushing offense with the league’s second-worst run defense.

Offensively, it’s the line — it’s always the line. Without a running game, things become exponentially more difficult on the pass protection in front of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Projected Outcome:

Miami should start strong in this game. The Browns will have to manufacture a pass rush in the absence of their two best pocket-collapsers in order to fully expose Miami’s thinnest position along the offensive line.

We can trust Chad O’Shea to develop a script that gets the ball out of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hands and keeps the veteran quarterback upright early, but we’ve seen how games devolve this season with this depleted roster. Fitzpatrick was limited in Wednesday’s practice after taking a beating Sunday against Buffalo.

Expect the same thing on the other side; a plan that hems Mayfield in, at least temporarily. The big days from Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt salt this game away in the second half.

Dolphins 17
Browns 31

@WingfieldNFL

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Miami Dolphins

Bobby McCain and Reshad Jones to IR; Miami Dolphins Replace Both

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins placed three players on Injured Reserve (IR) earlier this morning, and have utilized a flurry of moves to replace each of them.

According to the Miami Dolphins, Bobby McCain, Reshad Jones and Gary Jennings are all headed to IR. To replace them, the team signed Adrian Colbert, activated promising 5th-round draft pick Andrew Van Ginkel from IR, and promoted Gerald Willis from their practice squad.

The biggest news buried in all of this may be the impending future of Reshad Jones.

A lifelong Miami Dolphin drafted in the 5th-round (163rd-overall) of the 2010 NFL draft, Jones has been a force at safety throughout his 10-year tenure.

Often overlooked nationally because he played on so many mediocre Dolphins teams, Jones contributed plenty of Pro Bowl-caliber seasons to this franchise, even if 2015 and 2017 were the only seasons he was actually selected to go.

Muddled by a contract dispute (that saw him handsomely rewarded) and his mid-game “quitting” fiasco, Jones should be viewed as one of the best players to ever brand the aqua and orange jersey. If it wasn’t for Dick Anderson‘s insurmountable record of 34 interceptions or 16 fumble recoveries, Jones would easily be considered the best safety in Dolphins history.

With 113 starts, 21 interceptions, 55 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, 7 fumble recoveries, 10.5 sacks, 766 tackles, 41 tackles for a loss and 4 defensive touchdowns, there’s no doubt Jones will find his way into the Dolphins Ring of Honor. The question is, how long until he’s elected?

The 31-year old safety may not be worth his current contract (with cap hits of $15.6m, $14.5m and $12m between 2020-2022 respectably), but he’s still a good safety in this league and can easily help a playoff contender get over the hump.

Recency bias may trick us into believing that ousting Jones from a young Dolphins team is a good thing, but losing a legend like this is never easy to replace, and with the recent Minkah Fitzpatrick trade eliminating Miami’s talent at the position, there’s no reason to believe the Dolphins will have an impactful safety in the immediate future.

Bobby McCain, Miami’s iteration of a defensive Swiss army knife, is also headed to IR.

The defensive captain was having a productive season before a shoulder injury hindered his performance. It was evident McCain was hurt when he allowed John Brown to run right through him for a touchdown; a play in which McCain barely wrapped up his opponent as he waltzed in for the score.

Also drafted in the 5th-round (2015, 145th-overall), McCain has been a jovial character amidst a brutal game. His charisma annually wins over his coaches and teammates, but coaching staffs constantly experimenting on his position has hurt McCain’s production.

Once vastly defended by Dolphins fans on social media, it seems McCain’s contract extension prior to the 2018 season was a poor decision; though it’s not necessarily because McCain is a bad player. I’m sure you’re seeing what Minkah Fitzpatrick has done for the Pittsburgh Steelers in his limited time there. Imagine if our coaches just left McCain in his natural slot cornerback position and simply asked him to thrive there?

Just like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world will never know.

Unlike with Jones, it’s very likely McCain returns in 2020. His cap hit is $6.24m while his dead cap hit is $5.24m; that $1m savings isn’t enough to entice Miami to cut McCain loose – especially when you’ll need someone to replace him.

Recently-acquired wide receiver Gary Jennings was also placed on IR.

Originally drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL draft, Jennings became expendable when the team signed free agent Josh Gordon.

One day after his release, Miami claimed him off of waivers with the hope that they can evolve Jennings into a legitimate NFL receiver.

Jennings has yet to appear in an NFL game.

The Dolphins made a variety of moves to fill the three vacant roster spots made available.

The most-notable transaction involves the team’s 2019 5th-round draft pick, Andrew Van Ginkel.

After a promising training camp, Van Ginkel was expected to join Jerome Baker (and Sam Eguavoen) as the team’s starting linebackers. Van Ginkel had the luxury of utilizing 2019 to work through any growing pains, and with a young duo of Baker and Van Ginkel, the team finally thought it solved its longterm linebacker problem.

Ironically, Raekwon McMillan took advantage of his second chance after a subpar sophomore season led coaches and fans to look elsewhere for a solution. McMillan’s torn ACL prevented him from learning the NFL game his rookie year, and the hope here is that Van Ginkel’s injury doesn’t hinder him similarly. Those in-game reps are very hard to replace.

It’ll be nice to see if Van Ginkel lives up to his training camp promise.

To fill the void at safety, Miami signed former University of Miami safety Adrian Colbert. Seems the Dolphins enjoy picking on the Seahawks’ depth, as Colbert was poached from Seattle’s practice squad and signed to the team’s 53-man roster.

Originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 4th-round of the 2017 NFL draft, Colbert has been active for 21 games throughout his career, starting 7 of them. In these 21 games, Colbert has 0 INTs, 6 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles.

Miami also promoted defensive end Gerald Willis from their practice squad.

Willis played for the University of Miami and the University of Florida throughout his college career. He originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent earlier this year, but was released prior to the season starting. Willis has been on the Dolphins practice squad since the end of September.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Release Running Back Mark Walton

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 11:55am: Mark Walton has been arrested in connection with a horrific (alleged) domestic violence incident.

According to the Miami Dolphins, running back Mark Walton was involved in another “police incident” earlier this morning (11/19/2019) and has been released by the team.

A former University of Miami sophomore standout, Walton has had multiple brush-ins with the law prior to finding his way on to the Dolphins.

Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 4th-round (112th-overall) in the 2018 NFL draft, Walton was arrested multiple times during his minimal stint with the team.

  • First: Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession
  • Second: Misdemeanor Battery (on a neighbor)
  • Third: Reckless Driving (took the cops on a high-speed car chase), Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (carrying a rifle) and Marijuana Possession

Overall, this seems to be a consistent pattern in the young man’s life. The Miami Dolphins are wise to distance themselves from Walton, though he certainly needs some assistance changing his lifestyle and the hope is that he can turn himself around and learn from these incidents.

With the Dolphins, Walton accumulated 201 yards on 53 rushing attempts (3.8 yards-per-carry) and no touchdowns. Initially, it looked like the Dolphins found their #2 running back when Walton emerged. His productive play early in the season made Kenyan Drake that much more expendable, even though the team was likely going to part ways with the former Alabama running back when his contract was up at the end of the season.

For now, the Dolphins have Patrick Laird and Kalen Ballage as their top two running backs. Given how Ballage has played so far this season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Laird receive plenty of additional snaps going forward.

It’s also possible we see a bit more from Miami’s 2019 7th-round draft picks, Myles Gaskin and Chandler Cox.

 

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