Alabama in the Pros

Kenyan Drake has a dominant performance for Arizona in its win over Cleveland

© Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports

After its win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals are one draft class away from being something special next season. The decision to get Kenyan Drake in a trade from the Miami Dolphins has helped a lot, as the former Alabama running back feels right at home. 

He was a swiss army knife in college with the Crimson Tide and in a new scenery, all of his talents provided the Cardinals with its fourth win of the season. The native Georgian and former third-round pick of the 2016 NFL Draft recorded his second 100-yard outing of the year. 

Even in facing another former Tide player, Mack Wilson, Drake totaled 137 yards rushing with four touchdowns (career high) on 22 carries in a 38-24 victory for the Cardinals. He averaged 6.2 yards per rush and nine of his 22 carries – 41 percent – resulted in either first downs or scores. 

Drake’s success allowed for Kyler Murray to manage the game at quarterback. 

The rookie from Oklahoma completed 19 of 25 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown to one interception. Prior to this week, the first 100-yard output for Drake came in his first game as a Cardinal versus San Francisco on Oct. 31. He had 110 rushing yards with one touchdown on 15 attempts, despite a 28-25 loss.

At Alabama, Drake tallied 1,495 rushing yards, 570 receiving yards and 505 kick return yards with 23 scores in his career. He was a marquee contributor for three Southeastern Conference titles (2012, 2014-15) and two BCS National Championships. 

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When he was with the Dolphins, Drake had just 174 yards rushing on 47 carries. In six games with the Cardinals, the former four-star chimes in with 415 yards with five touchdowns on 87 carries.

Arizona just needs to put more talent around Drake. 

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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 @CoachingMSmith.

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