Alabama in the Pros

Former Alabama RB Kenyan Drake to potentially start for Miami Dolphins

Jasen Vinlove - USA TODAY Sports

We have reached the trade deadline in the National Football League, and demands for players are flying off the shelves.

After seeing Marcell Dareus moved from Buffalo to Jacksonville and New England trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco for a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, more moves were made today – including one from the Miami Dolphins. 

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins agreed to trade third-year running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick in 2018. 

Ajayi, who posted his first 1,000-yard season in 2016 (1,272), made his first-ever NFL Pro Bowl appearance last year after turning in eight rushing touchdowns on 260 carries. A product of Boise State University, he was twice named first team all-conference prior to getting drafted in 2015. 

With him out, Miami now turns to second-year back Kenyan Drake. 

Drake, a product from the University of Alabama, was credited with 179 rushing yards, 46 receiving yards and 397 kick return yards with three scores on 55 touches as a rookie. 

His finest moments from last season were a 96-yard kick return touchdown against the New York Jets and a 45-yard rushing score versus Buffalo in Week 16.

He was selected in the third round of the 2016 draft, upon the conclusion of a solid career under Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. 

During his four years, Drake accounted for 1,495 yards rushing, 570 yards receiving and 505 kick return yards with 23 touchdowns. His 95-yard kick return versus Clemson in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship – 2015 season – helped secure a 45-40 win for the Tide over the Tigers, earning the program its fourth national championship of the Saban era. 

Seeing his acceleration as a ball carrier, receiver and return specialists, Dolphins’ head coach Adam Gase must find ways to get the speedster involved on the perimeter. The 6-foot-1, 211-pounder has the capabilities to be a starter at this level, and now appears to be the time for him. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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