In the second half of the 2017 NFL season, Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake burst onto to the scene as one of the more intriguing young talents at his position. It has created a tremendous amount of optimism around what could lie ahead of him with the starting job looking to be his to lose this offseason.
Head coach Adam Gase has jumped aboard the momentum that has generated by stating that he believes Drake is on his way toward a breakout campaign in 2018, according to Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post.
“I think we just have a guy that’s really looking to bust out,” he said today.
The 24-year-old recorded 444 of his career-high 644 rushing yards in the final five games of the regular seasons, including a pair of 100-yard performances. He had grabbed a stronghold of the starting job over that stretch, especially with Damien Williams dealing with nagging injuries over that stretch and the departure of Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi via a mid-season trade to the Philadelphia Eagles.
What should help Drake is that he is shown great versatility being a viable option out of the backfield as a receiver making 32 receptions for 239 receiving yards and a touchdown. This aspect of his game could keep him on the field over the increased competition for playing time with the offseason addition of Frank Gore and Williams.
Despite all of that, the high praise from the coaching staff makes it clear that there is a tremendous amount of optimism about what he could be in store in the 2018 campaign with a significant role in the offense. It may just be a matter of him take advantage of the situation that lies in front of him to ingrain himself as the lead factor in the backfield that the team could build around for the long haul.