Coming into the 2014 season, Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno were both supposed to lead the Miami Dolphins’ rushing attack. After a good start to the season, Moreno tore his ACL on Oct. 12 against the Green Bay Packers and missed the rest of the season. Miller stepped up in Moreno’s absence and rushed for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns.
Now that training camp is right around the corner and Miller is the definitive No. 1 on the depth chart, who are the other running backs that will make the Dolphins’ final roster?
Miami drafted former Boise State standout Jay Ajayi in the fifth round of May’s draft. The former third-team All-American has the size and strength to be an every-down running back in the NFL. When the Dolphins are in third and short situations, Ajayi could be the back that gets a bulk of the carries.
Damien Williams, Mike Gillislee and LaMichael James are the other running backs competing for spots on the Dolphins’ roster.
After having a surprising training camp and preseason in 2014, Williams recorded 36 carries for 122 yards. Gillislee has had been a disappointment since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He only has six career carries for 21 yards.
James will likely claim one of the rosters spots as a special teamer and kick return specialist. The former Oregon Duck has 26 career kickoff returns for 738 yards.
Miller and Ajayi are expected to form a tag team for the Dolphins this season. With James likely to be used on special teams that leaves Williams and Gillislee on the roster bubble.
Gillislee is considered fifth on the depth chart right now, although he does bring some value on special teams. But unless he shows the Dolphins he can help the team on offense, Gillislee could be the odd man out before Week 1 comes around.
- Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.