Kenyan Drake, once a backup’s backup, is now unquestionably the Dolphins’ featured back.
Damien Williams might be back from a separated shoulder this week, but good luck getting Drake out of the starting lineup.
He has been Miami’s most effective runner in 2017, a list that includes Jay Ajayi.
Drake went for 114 yards on 25 carries Monday, eclipsing 100 yards for the second time in nine days.
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But what sets him apart from Ajayi: He also catches the ball.
Drake had 79 receiving yards on five catches Monday. In all, he accounted for 53 percent of Miami’s yards from scrimmage in the team’s win over New England.
“I feel like I try to go out there with a level of arrogance that I feel like I can go out there and help this team win in any way possible,” Drake said. “My confidence has stayed pretty stagnant because regardless if I fumble or whatever the case may be, I’m going to go out there and prove that I can be a top notch player.”
Drake has lost two fumbles in the weeks since Ajayi was traded to the Eagles, but the Dolphins have kept giving him the ball.
They really don’t have much of a choice. There’s really no one behind him on the depth chart. Backup Senorise Perry did not get a carry Monday, even when Drake left briefly after getting the wind knocked out of him.
He has 56 touches and 334 all-purpose yards in the last two weeks, taking all but a handful of Miami’s offensive snaps since Williams’ injury.
What has really set Drake apart: His big plays. He had runs of 31 and 26 yards Monday.
“We just feel like, with our personnel, we can really take advantage of a lot of mismatches in their defense,” Drake said. “I feel like that's what [Adam] Gase did. Gase drew a great game plan up. Jay Cutler was out there slinging the rock around the field. Everyone was making big plays, it was definitely team effort.”