The 2017 offense was nothing to get excited about and struggled for the first half of the year. The off season gave fans hope with the addition of Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano. Many thought that Fasano would easily replace Dion Sims and Julius Thomas would give the offense more than Sims did. That was not the case.
Fans were also hoping for a big year out of Ajayi again, but once again, Ajayi fell into Gase’s dog house for what most assume, was not knowing his assignments. Ajayi struggle with only one game rushing over 100 yards before being traded to Philadelphia.
There was a breath of fresh air when Kenyan Drake stepped in as a starter for the Dolphins. He showed versatility to run the ball from different formations and be a threat as a receiver. The offense began to open up and come to life in the second half of the season.
The Dolphins looked to capitalize on that aspect by adding weapons in the draft. They did just that, by drafting tight end Mike Gesicki, tight end Durham Smythe and running back Kalen Ballage. It’s obvious that Gesicki/Smythe replace Thomas/Fasano, but Ballage’s role seems to be more of what Drake’s role was before he became the starter.
Let’s take a look at what these players offer the Dolphins.
This first play shows him running under the formation from the H-back spot. He catches the ball behind the line of scrimmage and turns it up field. Watch at the end of the run, he lowers his shoulder to attempt to get extra yards and fight for the first down.
Watch how he works the sideline and presents the quarterback a target on the sideline, between two defenders. Catches the ball and keeps both feet inbounds.
I want to see him get both feet down, but look how he goes up for the ball and comes down to stay in bounds. (1 foot in college). If he can work on getting both feet down, he will be crucial in 2-minute offense situations.
This one I like, he sells the block on the play action and then slips into the route. He catches the ball and gets upfield into the end zone for the touchdown. He offers huge upside. He really offers exactly what Julius Thomas was supposed to offer the Dolphins.
Watch how Smythe blocks the linebacker at the second level and drives him back through the play. He drives the linebacker past the end of the play. He is exactly what they need to replace Fasano.
He sells the block here and notices his QB in trouble, and comes back to the football. He makes the catch on the sideline with good body control to keep both feet in and stay at the first down marker before going out of bounds.
Again, split out wide and runs a simple out route. Nothing fancy, but makes the tough catch and hangs on through the tackle. He is an underrated receiving tight end and is MORE than a blocking tight end.
He’s more than just a shifty runner. He makes a nice cut into the running lane and burst through. He doesn’t give the defense a clean shot on him in the open field.