In what seems to have all but confirmed that Kenyan Drake is on the move, he has not travelled with the team to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on MNF.
It should come as no surprise that the fire sale continues for the Dolphins. This is a team in full on tank mode and they are not afraid to hide it. Drake looks set to join the list consisting of Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills and Minkah Fitzpatrick as Dolphins who have been traded away.
Reports are swirling that a trade deal has been agreed in principal. The two teams with the highest interest in making a move are the Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans. Unless another team comes in at the eleventh hour for Drake, it seems one of the aforementioned franchises will become his new home. With this mind, let’s explore Kenyan’s possible next chapter.
A season ending injury to bell-cow back Kerryon Johnson dealt the Lions offence a major blow. They are now left scrambling trying to fill this void. Rookie running back Ty Johnson was expected to become the new starter.
However, it was Tra Crason who was given the nod on Sunday, having just signed with Lions, days after his release by division rivals Green Bay Packers. J.D. McKissic plays a handy role on third downs, but it’s clear this backfield is missing a piece.
The addition of Kenyan Drake would make for a stronger Lions offence. It’s clear HC Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell are not confident enough in their current backs. The fact that some guy they picked up off the streets was immediately anointed as the starter, suggests they are looking for external help.
In all likelihood, they will operate with a running back by committee. Of course there will be some intrigue into how well Ty Johnson can perform, but for now he’s not being trusted to lead this backfield. If Kenyan Drake does arrive in Detroit, it’s likely he will out-snap Johnson and even the current starter Tra Carson.
A team in somewhat of a transition phase, yet remain competitive, it’s tricky to define this Titans team. It’s very likely now they will move on from QB Marcus Mariota at the end of the season. How the rest of this offence will look going forward also raises a few questions.
The clear RB1 on this team is Derrick Henry. A real ground and pound runner, capable of beating multiple tacklers. In relief of Henry lies Dion Lewis, often noted for this third down work. Despite signing a four-year $20 million contract just last year, Lewis has vanished on this offence. Whether or not this is due to the coaching staff preferring Henry’s style of play, or losing faith in Lewis’ abilities, it’s clear to see that the addition of a capable back like Kenyan Drake would bring improvement.
More strength in depth is required for the Tennessee run game. Drake would bolster the balance and depth of the Titans running back room. If Derrick Henry were to go down with a serious injury, the current backups are David Fluellen and Rod Smith, hardly awe inspiring alternatives.
Looking at the passing game, Kenyan Drake could arguably offer quite a bit more than Derrick Henry. He cuts a much more nimble figure and would like win out over Dion Lewis, if current snap counts are taken into account. This is the balance the Tennessee run game requires, they should do all then can to make Drake the newest member of the Titans.
If the reports are correct in saying its either the Lions or Titans for Kenyan Drake, could another team make a list ditch attempt to land him? As it stands, the trade market for a running back doesn’t seem like a hot one. With this in mind, it will drive down any asking price the Dolphins have in mind.
Right now, the asking price is a 4th round pick. So unless another team is willing to spend a third, it seems unlikely a move will come at the eleventh hour. Let’s never say never however, there’s one or two means who might make the splash.
Since selecting Ronald Jones in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft, he’s largely failed to impress. Often a healthy scratch in his rookie year, it’s fair to say the Bucs organisation have to be rather disappointed in their high investment. In this current season, concerted efforts have been made to improve his game, but he’s still often ceding touches to Peyton Barber. It’s a rather muddled situation in this backfield, perhaps a new name on the block would shake things up for the best.
The marquee signing of Le’Veon Bell has yet to transform the Jets offence. Of course, the desire is strong to often put the ball in Bell’s hands. Even with this, it will improve the offence as a whole to add another talented piece to the backfield. Current backups Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell have offered little. Making a move for Kenyan Drake should at least be considered by the Jets front office, however unlikely a deal may seem.