The Dolphins wasted little time going to work on the running back position with the signing of Chase Edmonds, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals. Here are five things to know about the big-play tailback.
1. Explosive Stats in Small Packages
Entering his age-26 season, Edmonds is coming off his most-productive year as a pro. Totaling 903 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in 12 games played, Edmonds checked in with 5.1 yards per carry and averaged 2.66 yards after initial contact, courtesy of a plethora of lengthy runs.
Edmunds had 18 carries that totaled 10-plus yards, good for a 15.5 percent explosive-run rate. The 5-9, 210-pound do-it-all back hit runs of 54 and 40 yards last season and clocked a high-speed of 15 miles per hour on 23.3 percent of his carries, most among all NFL backs with at least 100 attempts.
Next Gen Stats charts something called rushing yards over expected, a metric through which Edmonds has displayed his abilities. Averaging 0.58 yards over expected in 2021, only seven backs had a higher yards-over-expected mark than Edmonds. He also checked in with +10.2 EPA (expected points added) on 116 carries, which ranked third in the league behind Indianapolis' Jonathan Taylor and Dallas' Tony Pollard.
Edmonds also packs a punch. With 96 catches for 713 yards the last two seasons, and no sacks allowed on 132 pass blocking snaps the last three years, Edmonds has demonstrated the ability to play on all three downs. Of his 116 carries, 33 moved the chains for an impressive 28.4 percent conversion rate. He also converted 16-of-22 rush attempts with three-or-fewer yards to gain, a rate of 72.7 percent.
2. A Favorite Among his Teammates
Just as it didn't take the Dolphins long to identify and get their running back, not much time passed before former teammates Kyler Murray and Kenyan Drake took to social media to give some love to Edmonds. due to football character."
3. The Tape Matches the Stats
It doesn't take many reps into Edmond's tape to see his urgency and suddenness. He pairs the smooth, choppy feet with excellent vision to both the front- and back-side and takes advantage of daylight each time he sees it. He displays exceptional patience both as a ball-carrier and route-runner.
The Cardinals deployed Edmonds effectively both in the screen game and from the backfield on a variety of option routes that helped him utilize that quickness against reacting linebackers in short areas of the field. This bodes well for the Dolphins, as the Mike McDaniel-led offense in San Francisco produced three top 10 run-after-catch players in 2021 and no team utilized pre-snap motion with greater frequency. The pairing of quick decision making with quick feet is a recipe for success in creating conflict for the defense, and Edmonds has proven that he possesses both traits.
4. The Apple of the Dolphins' Eye
Edmonds, the first reported agreement by the Dolphins during the negotiating period, helps the Dolphins check a box of utmost importance in Head Coach Mike McDaniel's first year.
"You have to realize running backs collectively -- whether you do it part-to-whole or one guy -- you have 300-400 touches by that one position," said McDaniel. "Anywhere I've been, and with the Miami Dolphins moving forward, it's of paramount importance. We have a concrete skillset that we found that can really flourish in a zone blocking system."
Edmonds has had success in the NFL as a zone runner, in the run-pass-option game, as a gap-scheme runner and in the passing game, checking the boxes of a multi-faceted player.
"Mike prepared a tape of what he's looking for at the running back position. It was a great teaching moment for (the scouts) and the offensive coaching staff who came in and listened, too," said Grier. "It was a good visual opportunity for all the scouts and coaches to be in one room talking about what we're looking for at the position and things that Mike has had success at finding in San Francisco. Our scouts really appreciated that."
5. From Fordham to the Big Time
Edmonds has played in 57 of a possible 65 career games with the Cardinals, following up a near-record setting career at Fordham University. This 2017 story details both his work habits and why he's proved so reliable both as a pro and collegian.
Inside, you'll find his relentless efforts to get back on the field in pursuit of the all-time FCS rushing record (finished fifth with 5,862 yards) and his ability to juggle multiple tasks including the most important one, being a father. His job title as "girl dad" is his clearly the one he holds most dear.
For more analysis, and to hear Edmonds talking ball and his new South Florida home, subscribe to the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield.
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