Now that the NFL draft is over it’s time we all start to direct our attention towards May rookie drafts. Considering the questionable landing spots that most receivers and running backs went to, I know many owners were left uncertain what to do with their picks after the clear top three or four players are gone.
A guy like Tyler Boyd in Cincinnati looks like he could be a great No. 2 option next to A.J. Green, a la Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson. But Tyler Eifert is also there to steal targets. My personal favorite Devontae Booker was taken by Denver Broncos which puts him in the famous Gary Kubiak zone blocking scheme. Should be a lot more exciting except they just re-signed both C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman. So yeah, a lot of our parades were flooded out over the weekend.
With all this confusion, who is the unlikely hero that’s come to save you from sinking your draft?
None other than new Miami Dolphins RB, Kenyan Drake.
WHY WOULD THE DOLPHINS SELECT DRAKE AS THE THIRD RB?
The pick of Drake over backs we preferred like C.J. Prosise and Kenneth Dixon was surprising. Drake was stuck behind premier RB prospects Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry his whole career so we really don’t have much production on which to base any projections.
However I do have a hunch about what new Head Coach Adam Gase may have been thinking. Here’s Drake’s measurables compared to the backs that he depended on heavily in Denver and Chicago.
While none look like an exact match, Drake looks like a mashup of all three. Or just a much more explosive and nimble version of Jeremy Langford, which alone makes him a pretty interesting prospect.
Alabama RB Kenyan Drake forced one missed tackle for every 2.6 touches on offense, the best rate in this RB class (min. 100 touches)— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 21, 2016
If that isn’t enough to sell you, Jon Moore believes Drake is a do it all baller that made good on the chances he was given.
OPPORTUNITY IS THERE FOR THE TAKING
After last year’s starter Lamar Miller left for the Houston Texans, a massive amount of work became available; hence the top-6 opportunity score for Miami in this article by Kevin Cole. Many believe incumbent RB Jay Ajayi will just step up and feast but I don’t think that it’s guaranteed by any means.
First, Ajayi was drafted in the fifth round by the old coaching regime. This is important because not only does Gase have no allegiance to him but the front office doesn’t have much financial dedication to him either.
Second, Ajayi wasn’t very effective with the chances he was given in 2015. According our Fantasy Efficiency App, in terms of rushing he was the worst performer on the team on a per attempt basis and he was the second worst performer on the team in terms of receiving. If you believe that’s a small sample to compare him with, Player Profiler’s Production Premium metric gave him a score of -26.2 which was 75th in the league. His 3.8 yards per carry isn’t exactly what you look for either but considering he had a 35th percentile college ypc, it’s really not shocking.
Based on 2016 Rookie Startup ADP from our Dynasty APP, here’s how the top 12 looked before the draft:
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Laquon Treadwell
- Josh Doctson
- Corey Coleman
- Derrick Henry
- Michael Thomas
- Sterling Shepard
- Tyler Boyd
- Leonte Carroo
- Kenneth Dixon
- Will Fuller
- C.J. Prosise
Out of that list ask yourself how many RBs realistically have as much of a chance to be the starting RB for their team as Drake does. Elliott is the only one that has a clear cut path to dominating the touches.
For the WRs, my pre-draft WR3 Leonte Carroo went to the seventh worst situation for a rookie pass catcher which for me could knock him out of the first round. Sterling Shepard and Will Fuller are going to solid situations but they likely don’t have much WR1 upside because they’re going to being playing alongside proven market share hogs.
Since the end of the 2015 season we’ve been stressing how important pass catching backs are in this new era of fantasy football. The Profile 2 model (solid speed+strong agility) is the type of back you should always be chasing, and Kenyan Drake would seem to fit this mold almost as well as any player in the class. While you may not *need* to use a first round rookie pick on him, I believe his potential ceiling makes him a target that I wouldn’t be afraid to pay up for.