Miami Dolphins: Offensive Versatility

As we all know the Miami Dolphins love versatility. Based on the past two drafts and free agent signings, Miami looks for players that can help the team in more than one way. This week we take a look at some of the more versatile players on Miami’s offense and their impact during the 2021-2022 season.

Lynn Bowden Jr.

It only makes sense that Bowden is the first player on this list. The former high school and college quarterback is one of the more exciting ball carriers in the NFL. Before becoming a Miami Dolphin, Bowden was drafted by the Raiders and was going to be a running back until things fell through with them and he was traded to Miami.

His play-making ability has been evident very early in his career. For those who do not know, here is the viral video of his mind-blowing touchdown that happened in high school:

Bowden’s amazing full-field touchdown

This ability to make people miss has followed him to every level of football and Miami fans saw that last year. Last season there were multiple times where it looked like Bowden was going to be stopped for a short gain and he turned it into a decent chunk of yardage.

Bowden will play a majority of his snaps in the slot just like last season, but after having a full offseason with Miami, Eric Studesville and George Godsey (the 2021 co-offensive coordinators) may have some tricks up their sleeve. Last season Bowden did throw a pass and the co-offensive coordinators may include a wildcat set specifically for Bowden.

Robert Hunt

Yes, an offensive lineman is one of Miami’s most versatile players. As we saw last year, Hunt can be a very good offensive tackle in the NFL. That being said, Hunt has the potential to be an elite guard.

Hunt provides two key blocks on a huge Ahmed gain

Having a player that is skilled in both positions on the line is extremely helpful especially later on in the season when players go down with injuries. Even though Miami added some much-needed depth this offseason, Hunt’s starting job is not in jeopardy. Free-agent signings D.J. Fluker and Matt Skura will mentor Hunt as he is still learning how NFL defensive linemen try to get off blocks, polishing his technique, and recognizing defensive and offensive schemes.

Hunt will be one of our best offensive linemen this season and may even make the pro bowl. From day one he will be our starting guard and show everyone he deserves to be there. Hunt’s experience at tackle could come in handy later on in the season if one of our tackles does get injured so don’t be surprised if he ends up switching between the two positions this season.

Myles Gaskin

Plenty of people, myself included, wanted Miami to draft a running back early in the 2021 NFL Draft. That was not the case and it seems like Miami is giving the keys to Myles Gaskin this season to show everyone what he is capable of.

Obviously last season having to deal with COVID-19 and injuries, Gaskin had limited playing time. But as many people have pointed out, Gaskin would have had one of the better seasons for a running back if he played the full 16 games. Last season Gaskin showed his ability to catch the ball and run block, two key areas for a running back in today’s NFL. This was a breath of fresh air as during his rookie year we saw very little of this from him.

Gaskin shows off his pass-catching ability and his ability to make defenders miss

As I said above, Miami believes in Gaskin and doubled down on him by not drafting a running back early. Expect Gaskin to get at least 20 touches a game whether he receives more targets in the passing game or opportunities to run the ball. Other backs such as Salvon Ahmed and Malcolm Brown will get their share of carries as well, but Gaskin is this team’s bell-cow back going forward.

Hunter Long

The Miami Dolphins selected Long in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft in hopes to boost the offense and potentially replace either Mike Gesicki or Durham Smythe who are both free agents after this season. It was a shock that Miami even drafted Long with three tight ends already on the roster but his skill set will improve Miami’s offense over the course of the year.

Hunter Long showing off his athleticism with a nice contested catch

At Boston College, Long did it all offensively. He lined up outside, in the slot, as a wing, and tight end. This gave defensive coaches headaches as they never knew where Long would line up. In addition to playing almost every position, Long is an exceptional run block AND pass catcher. Having the ability to do all of this at a high level is very beneficial for Long as he can act as he can line up as a slot receiver and block one play, then go out and route a route the next.

Long’s expectations this season shouldn’t be too high unless Mike Gesicki goes down. His workload, especially early on in the season, will be very light as he gets used to the playbook. That being said, later on in the season when Miami makes a playoff push (or even in the playoffs) Long could be their secret weapon to jumpstart the offense.

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