It came down nearly to the wire but Myles Gaskin was taken in the NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins in the 7th round with the 234th overall pick. The last Husky running back who was drafted also got selected in the 7th round; Dwayne Washington by the Detroit Lions in 2016.
Gaskin set almost every school record possible as a 4-year starter at the University of Washington. He rushed at least 1,250 yards in all 4 of his seasons and scored a combined 62 rushing and receiving touchdowns. His calling cards were his vision and patience rather than elite athleticism which explains why one of the most productive running backs in NFL history lasted until the 7th round. Also, the value of running backs has been greatly diminished with the success of a number of players either drafted late or undrafted entirely. That bodes well for Gaskin who could easily become a starter if the opportunity opens up for him.
There will certainly be competition in Miami but there’s no entrenched starter there at running back. Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore split time last season but the Dolphins showed great reluctance to make Drake the featured back. They also drafted Kalen Ballage from Arizona State last season but he saw almost no action after being benched for much of the season. Regardless of who wins the job, the Dolphins are in the middle of a rebuilding project so you can expect they won’t be in the lead and thus running out the clock with their backs very often.Then they took Myles Gaskin, a Washington running back with the No. 234 pick.
Picking one back, when the team has starting jobs on both lines unspoken for, would have made for an interesting move. But two?
When the Dolphins open rookie camp Friday, the odd couple of Cox and Gaskin will begin competing for a roster spots that opened via the departures of veterans Frank Gore, Senorise Perry and Brandon Bolden. Both figure to be contributors on special teams in 2019, even though their skills couldn’t be more disparate.
Take Cox, although before breaking down what he offers, you should know what was happening behind the scenes before Miami selected him. Cox had developed a rapport with the Miami staff during the draft process, but with the final round winding down, he was antsy. So while on a boating trip with family and friends in Utah, he more or less elbowed Dolphins running backs coach Eric Studesville to remind him of his availability.
The Dolphins selected running backs with their back-to-back seventh-round picks, taking Auburn’s Chandler Cox with the 233rd overall pick and Washington’s Myles Gaskin with the 234th.
Cox played 52 games at fullback, tailback and wildcat with 41 starts at Auburn and had four career touchdowns, three rushing and one receiving.
“I was hoping for Miami the whole time,” said Cox, who spent the day on a boat in Utah with his mother, stepfather, girlfriend and other family members. “I took a few visits. I came down to Miami and that was by far the best one. It’s just an organization I’d love to be a part of and a dream come true to get drafted.”
Gaskin, who is more of a pure tailback, became last year the second player in the Football Bowl Subdivision ranks to reach 1,200 yards for a fourth consecutive season. He joined former Wisconsin star Ron Dayne in this achievement.
Gaskin earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a sophomore in 2016 and second-team recognition in 2017 and 2018.Myles Gaskin, the 234th pick in this year’s draft, has a chance for a much more prominent role in Miami. The former Washington running back started four straight seasons and only missed two games for the Huskies, all the while amassing major production at the collegiate level.
So why did he tumble all the way to the draft’s final round? The NFL is a grueling business, and they’ll always find something to knock you for. In Gaskin’s case, it’s the high mileage. 945 collegiate carries is real hefty in an era where many backfields are split between multiple players. Gaskin truly carried the load in Seattle.
For comparison sake, Kenyan Drake only carried the ball 233 times through four seasons at Alabama. Drake was never the lead dog for the Crimson Tide, as the running back stable hosted the likes of Eddie Lacy, TJ Yeldon, and Derrick Henry over his four seasons. Even so, The Dolphins were more willing to spend a third round selection on the likes of Drake back in 2016 based on promise and the idea of fresh legs.
Myles Gaskin boasts a smaller frame at 5’9″ and 205lbs, which is astounding when considering his massive amounts of carries; many of which were between the tackles. He’s not a one dimensional player, either. Quite the contrary, he’s a fairly complete back. He has great vision, soft hands and can hold his own in the blocking department.