The Miami Dolphins have had an offseason of near-complete radio silence when it comes to Kenyan Drake. Drake had been forfeiting touches to Kalen Ballage during training camp, and most recently dealing with a foot injury that kept him out of practice for three weeks. Fantasy drafts have come and gone, and yet there was still little clarity on who held claim as the lead dog in the Miami backfield, until now.
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Flores Heaps Praise on the Running Back
Off the heels of Kenyan Drake being named the Miami Dolphins starting running back earlier in the week, Head Coach Brian Flores doubled down with his affection for the tailback. Flores told Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post “This is a guy who has as much talent as we have on our team. He’s fast. He’s physical. He’s explosive. He makes a lot of plays, and we’re looking forward to getting him a lot of touches this week.”
Flores’ affection for Drake is understandable. He’s seen Drake’s talents first hand, unfortunately for him, he was on the other sideline when Drake completed what is now known as the “Miami Miracle.”
Drake is ready to prove that his head coach is wise for believing in him. “I just go out there and make true to the sentiment,” Drake stated to reporters before Wednesday’s practice. “That is all I can do. Take everything a day at a time. Harness my routine, focus on the things I need to do from a daily basis standpoint, step by step and go out there and just handle my business.”
The Talent and Opportunity to Succeed
Simply put, Kenyan Drake is one of the most under-utilized skill players of the last decade. I’m not saying Drake is Alvin Kamara, but he brings a lot of the same tools that Kamara does to the table. Drake has averaged 4.7 ypc over his three seasons in Miami, while accumulating 85 receptions through the air over the past two years.
Drake seems like the kind of player you would want to feature within your offense, not have ride the bench. Yet former head coach Adam Gase did just that, treating Drake as if he had stolen his high school sweetheart. Gase opted to run the offense through the then 35-year old Frank Gore, rather than the sprout, fresh-legged Drake. Yet Drake still produced when given the opportunity, so much so that he still finished the season as RB14 in PPR leagues despite his limited usage.
You can spin it how you want, Miami is tanking, Miami is prepping for the future, either way there are added touches to go around. Drake has forever shown the ability to be a team’s RB1, and a potential fantasy football RB1. Now he may finally have the coaching staff to allow him to align his fantasy value with his talent.