Anne Photograp News 2024

Dolphins Draft Pick could oust 6-year NFL vet in training camp

Dolphins Draft Pick could oust 6-year NFL vet in training camp

The Miami Dolphins surprised many analysts and fans when they traded up in the NFL draft for Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright, further strengthening one of the deepest parts of the roster.

The move also meant immediate problems for three of the running backs already under contract: Jeff Wilson Jr., Chris Brooks and Salvon Ahmed. Pro Football Network’s Dolphins correspondent Adam Beasley noted that the three reserves are “presumably competing for one — maybe two — spots” after Wright was drafted, but it’s hard to imagine an NFL team keeping five ball carriers. Even the run-heavy Mike McDaniel.

Brooks may have an edge in the latter role due to his age (24) and potential (5.6 yards per carry in 2023), but Wilson could be in trouble either way.

“Dolphins running back Jeff Wilson Jr. will not be guaranteed a roster spot outside of training camp this summer,” RotoBaller’s Keith Hernandez reiterated on May 6. “Head coach Mike McDaniel has an affinity for Wilson dating back to their time together with the San Francisco 49ers, but the fact remains that (Raheem) Mostert, (De’Von) Achane and Wright will be on the roster (and) the former undrafted free agent from North Texas failed to capitalize on Achane’s injuries in 2023.”

Through his 10 appearances last year, Wilson recorded 188 rushing yards and 85 receiving yards with no touchdowns and an average yards per attempt of 4.6. Not terrible, but fourth in efficiency behind Achane, Brooks and Mostert.

Dolphins writer argues the savings outweigh Jeff Wilson’s impact as a potential RB4

Barring injury, Wilson would enter Week 1 as the RB4 best-case scenario. And that’s if he beat Brooks.

Unfortunately, the veteran’s contract makes the RB4 scenario unlikely for Miami.

“Yes, the Dolphins have chosen to restructure Jeff Wilson’s contract this year, but that restructuring is minimal,” FanSided’s Brian Miller said on April 29. room.”

The Phin Phanatic writer argued that this amount of dead cap is “barely enough to keep Wilson around.” Although his release could be helpful, even if the savings are small.

“This comes down to camp, and the competition won’t be between Wright and Wilson,” Miller continued. “Instead it will be between Wilson and Chris Brooks. If Brooks shows the Dolphins that he has more upside and can contribute, Wilson could be released or traded to make room on the roster.”

Miller also expressed his opinion that Brooks “exceeded his (practice squad) potential last year and could not be released.” This will probably also be the case in 2024.

Ahmed, on the other hand, is the perfect candidate for the practice squad. He has knowledge of the system and is injured and is unlikely to be claimed.

Miami could also theoretically sneak Wilson onto the practice squad, but his roster position seems questionable either way. Miller agreed with that statement, concluding that the six-year pro “could be on the hot seat” this summer.

The Wright selection was not well received by those who felt the Dolphins had a clear need to fill, but was liked by the ‘best player available’ and the ‘schedule-fit’ crowd.

Pro Football Network draft analyst Oliver Hodgkinson came up with a “B+” grade for the speedy ball carrier.

Rationale: “While not considered a priority in the 2024 NFL Draft, especially given their lack of capital, landing an explosive offensive playmaker in this Dolphins offense is exciting for Miami fans. Jaylen Wright is one of the more explosive running backs in the 2024 NFL Draft class, while adding value as a physical blocker in the passing game.

According to Beasley, Wright told reporters that “he was clocked at 24 miles per hour using GPS.” Between Achane, Mostert, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle — among other rookies — that’s a scary thought for opposing defenses.