Dolphins Won't Replace Gaskin, Contrary to Popular Belief

Miami passes on finding a bigger-name runner through draft, free agency.
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Myles Gaskin is a hard guy to bring down. Miami Dolphins fans and media members learned this once more when the NFL draft came and went.

For months, all parties involved furiously debated who would or could replace the former University of Washington running back in South Beach.

Should the Dolphins sign the first tempting free agent to come along? Or pursue one of the three top backs available in the draft, Najee Harris, Travis Etienne or Javonte Williams?

When all of those attractive rushers had been inspected and dissected, and summarily dismissed or claimed elsewhere, there was just one Miami option.

Gaskin.

Once more, the 5-foot-10, 194-pound back from Lynnwood, Washington, has taken everyone's best shot and bounced back onto his feet, just like he did in Seattle while churning out a UW all-time best 5,323 rushing yards 

"When he goes in the game, he’s productive," Dolphins coach Brian Flores said at the conclusion of the NFL Draft.

Whether it was Gaskin's size or the fact he appeared in just 10 of 16 games last fall, team outsiders seemed convinced the elusive little back would be replaced or have to share the job with yet someone other than former Husky Salvon Ahmed.

Miami, however, ultimately felt no sense of urgency to make a big move and ease Gaskin, a 584-yard rusher with three scores, into more of a support role. The franchise will trust co-offensive coordinator Eric Studesville to get the most out of Gaskin, Ahmed, free-agent addition Malcolm Brown and seventh-round draft pick Gerrid Doaks.

Analysts presumed the Dolphins were one of the likeliest teams to make big investment in another running back, but instead they demonstrated full confidence in Gaskin, who averaged 4.1 yards per carry in while playing behind one of the NFL's worst offensive lines. 

People are finally beginning to realize Gaskin, himself a seventh-round draft pick and slight of build, is better than they think. He knows it.

In April, he posted the following on Instagram, "Been doubted my whole life so it's OK that you don't believe in me."

It's been pointed out that just 10 NFL runners averaged more yards per game than Gaskin, who checked in at 97.2 from scrimmage. Some of them have big names,  some huge salaries. 

That list of productive backs: Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, Nick Chubb, James Robinson, David Montgomery and Jonathan Taylor.

The 24-year-old Gaskin, after two pro seasons, holds his own with his quickness, elusiveness, vision and decision-making. 

Rather than replace Gaskin, Miami added speedy receivers Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller and offensive-line help in Liam Eichenberg to open up the running game.

Gaskin did his part to sell himself in a late-season game on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders by rushing for 87 yards and catches passes for another 82, including a dazzling 59-yard scoring reception that showed his ability to break an open-field tackle and go the distance. 

"I think I saw a lot of growth from year one to year two," Flores said of his lead Dolphins back. "He missed a number of games last year due to injury, but when he was in there, he was productive in the run game and the pass game and the protection game."