2017 Training Camp Preview: RBs

Posted Jun 30, 2017

Players on the roster: Jay Ajayi, Damien Williams, Kenyan Drake, Storm Johnson, Sinorise Perry, De’Veon Smith.

Offseason transactions: Signed Sinorise Perry and Storm Johnson to futures contracts (Jan. 10) … placed original round restricted free agent tender on Damien Williams (March 9) … signed De’Veon Smith as an undrafted college free agent (May 5) … signed Damien Williams to his restricted free agent tender (May 11).

What stood out in the spring:

John Congemi: It's Jay Ajayi who got my attention the most from this group of talented running backs. Ajayi has really worked on his route running and securing the football out of the backfield. He has trimmed down a bit, but still looks powerful when running the rock. 

Alain Poupart: Jay Ajayi made a concerted effort after the end of last season to work on his pass catching and route running and there were clear signs throughout the offseason program that he has made improvement in that aspect of the game. Damien Williams also looked very good in the passing game in the practices that were open to the media.

Training camp focus:

John Congemi: How the trio of Ajayi, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams all find their roles this season, and possibly expand on what they were asked to do in 2016. I don't believe it will change much with the exception of Drake getting a few more opportunities to run the football. Williams flashed in OTAs and I expect him to have another strong showing in the preseason on third down.

Alain Poupart: Unlike last year, the Dolphins will enter training camp with a clear starter at this position, that being Ajayi. Head Coach Adam Gase wants for Drake, who showed game-breaking ability as a rookie last year, to become an all-around back and he should get plenty of chances to work on that this summer. And then there’s the question of whether any of the young running backs can do enough this summer to convince the Dolphins to keep four players at the position.

Player to watch:

John Congemi: With Ajayi, Drake and Williams seemingly on the roster, my attention will focus on Storm Johnson. Johnson is a talented back who can do a little bit of everything. The big question will be can he show enough on special teams to raise his value to this team. 

Alain Poupart: Ajayi is the most important player at the position — some analysts have gone as far as to say he’s the important player on the entire team — but Drake’s potential really is intriguing and that’s the guy I’m going to be watching this summer.

Game Pass: Miami Dolphins