Dolphins Draft Review: Offense

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.

Mike Gesicki:
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.

On a Half-Back pass, he attacks the seam, catches the football and turns it up field. He is a natural athlete and is smooth when he turns it up field. This is something this team has lacked for a while. 

Watch how he works the side line 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 touch down. He offers huge upside. He really offers exactly what Julius Thomas was supposed to offer the Dolphins.

Durham Smythe: 
Smythe does a great job blocking Poona Ford (95) on this play, even though he is outweighed by 50lbs. He keeps Ford from making the play and drives him back. It may not look pretty, but it is rather impressive considering the weight difference. 


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.

What about him as a receiver? Oh he can catch the football too. here he is split out wide, running an out route. He stacks the linebacker, boxes him out, and high points the football for the reception. 

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.

Kalen Ballage: 

He is a natural athlete with smooth movements. Look how he bounces the play and avoids the tackle for a loss. He turns it up field and uses his elusiveness to get a couple of yards. 

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.

He has potential to break off a big run at any moment. He slips through the run lane and nearly breaks the arm tackle for what would be a big gain. 

Backed up the their own end zone, Ballage does a good job of making the edge defender miss and exploding through the run lane. Once he breaks through the line, he makes defenders miss and gets more after the first down. 

He is a natural receiver and runs routes better than some of the receivers in this draft. Here is not about his routes, but about his ability with the ball in his hands. He effortlessly catches the ball and leaps the defender for extra yards. 

The Dolphins selected Kalen Ballage with the 4th round pick they received from Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Jay Ajayi. It may seem ironic, but I d not think it is a coincidence. Adam Gase never seemed happy with Ajayi, going back to when he kept Ajayi home in 2016. Ballage gives the Dolphins what they had in Drake before he became a starter. A situational offensive player and a special teams ace that can return kicks. I look for Ballage to make an immediate impact, especially with Sutdesville as the running backs coach. 

As far as the tight ends, Gesicki is exactly what Gase had in Thomas when he was with the Broncos. Gase still incorporates blocking tight ends, which means Smythe will have himself a big role in this offense. Gase will have him playing a blocking role to compliment the offense but look for Smythe to be a part of the passing game at times. 

Overall, the Dolphins gave themselves some quality weapons that can greatly improve an otherwise lack luster offense. 







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