There is much speculation that Dalvin Cook becoming a Miami Dolphin is inevitable. A question of when, not if. With an already overstocked backfield, what would signing Cook mean for the Miami Dolphins and the running backs currently on their roster?
If Dalvin Cook Becomes a Miami Dolphin
The Dolphins get a productive punishing-type back. In his six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Cook amassed nearly 6,000 yards (5,993) and averaged 4.7 yards a carry while scoring 47 touchdowns on the ground. Cook also caught 221 passes for an additional 1,794 yards and five touchdowns. Cook could serve as a nice complement to speed back Raheem Mostert. With Tua Tagovailoa’s head injuries, there is a focus to take the ball out of his hand by running the ball more. It is not a coincidence Miami has acquired tight ends that are known primarily are known for their blocking skills. There will be more of a run focus this season. With the power of Cook and the speed of Mostert, what will happen to the remaining backs on the roster?
Remaining Backs on Dolphins Roster
Jeff Wilson Jr.
A favorite of head coach Mike McDaniel from their time together with the San Francisco 49ers, Wilson likely remains on the roster and third on the depth chart. Though speedy, Wilson can get easily banged up, which occurred last season. If he wants to prove his worth, he may look to add more muscle mass to his 213-pound, 6′-0″ frame, while not sacrificing speed.
2023 NFL Draft prospect Devon Achane, is likely fourth on the depth chart should Cook sign with the Dolphins. While he had a phenomenal career at Texas A&M, a great college career does not always translate to a successful NFL career (Dolphins fans recall first-round draft pick Ronnie Brown). Based on his potential alone, Achane locks up the fourth and final spot on the running back depth chart.
While technically not a running back (he is listed as a fullback), Ingold will be the only one on the Dolphins roster. He could be part of a heavy one-two punch with Cook. Ingold will also be an important blocker in the run game.
While John Lovett is penciled in at the two spot at fullback, he likely does not make the team, as other players could fill his primarily special teams position more effectively.
With the pass-catching ability Cook exemplifies, Myles Gaskin becomes expendable. Used largely as a pass-catching back, Gaskin will no longer be needed. Additionally, Gaskin never had breakaway speed or a second burst. While he did play at an admiringly overachieving level for the Dolphins over the years, his current place on the depth chart (fourth) does not bode well for Gaskin’s future with the Dolphins.
Salvon Ahmed, like his fellow University of Washington and Dolphins teammate in Gaskin, played admiringly in his Dolphins career. Unfortunately he will likely be gone, too. The fact that Ahmed does not appear on the Dolphins depth chart at all already is a sign his time in Miami is likely over.
If Cook Does Not Become a Dolphin
If Cook does not sign with Miami, the Dolphins need to recognize they can still improve their roster at running back. Backs like Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt could be signed for a fraction of the cost of what they could have gotten in their prime and would be an upgrade over the backs the Dolphins have, now. Whether the Dolphins heed this advice, should they fail to come to terms with Cook, will be interesting to see.
Will Dalvin Cook become a Miami Dolphin? More than likely. If he does not, that should not deter the Dolphins from becoming a better team overall by signing another back. Many of the big names on the market would be better than anyone on their current roster. If the Dolphins decided not to sign another back, that likely means Lovett and Ahmed will likely be cut. Gaskin would remain, due largely in part to his pass-catching ability. What is certain is Dolphins fans will anxiously await any and all news related to Dalvin Cook.
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