Dolphins Mailbag: Williams, Howard, Tua, Running Backs, and More
From Norm Robinson (via Facebook):
Hey Alain, what do you think of the front office position on first Rd RB, given that we passed on Harris, who I believe was a great back?
Hey Norm, I agree with you that Harris is a great back, but I personally don't like the positional value of a running back in the first round because the offensive line plays so a big role in the success of any back and the difference between the top college running backs isn't really that great. So my thinking is you can get an equivalent talent in a later round, much more so than you can at other positions like, say, edge defender (Jaelan Phillips). That said, I absolutely would have liked the Dolphins to take a running back in Round 2 in either of the last two drafts.
From E-Rod (@phinfan2003):
Alain, do you think that there’s any way the Xavien Howard situation can be resolved without a restructure?
Hey E-Rod, well, Howard IS under contract for 2021 — and 2022, 2023 and 2024. And given that fines are $50K per day and can't be waived off, it's difficult to envision Howard skipping too many training camp practices. Where it gets tricky is having a player report strictly to avoid fines and then having an unhappy camper (pun intended) on your hands, particularly when it's the best player on the team.
From jorge boyd (@raga1922):
Hi Alain, what is Preston Williams' situation entering training camp and do you believe he is the fourth wide receiver at season's start?
Hi Jorge, that's a great question because Williams' status has been a great mystery since he got hurt last November. What we do know is he didn't practice in the June minicamp after not participating in the last three OTAs open to the media. So seeing how he looks physically definitely is something to watch when practice starts. If he's fully healthy, I believe it will be between him and Albert Wilson for the fourth wide receiver spot behind Waddle, Parker and Fuller.
From A-Rod the phinphan (@TheGreatPhinsby):
What do you make of the Griffin signing? Possible sign of cuts to come?
Hi A-Rod, Griffin has some pass-rushing ability (though he's undersized) and absolutely could help on special teams, but I don't see his signing as suggesting someone of prominence now is in trouble. It's actually very rare to sign somebody this late with that kind of potential impact.
From ShakeNBake34 (@BakeandShake34):
Are the Dolphins really all in on Tua? Do they have a backup plan if they are not?
Hi Shake (or is it Bake?), depends on your definition of "all in." They absolutely want to see Tua take a big step forward in 2021 and show he's their guy moving forward, but it's also clear they would have investigated the possibility of trading for Deshaun Watson if the accusations of sexual misconduct hadn't surfaced.
From Matt Urban (@MattUrban5):
Opinion on Malcolm Brown being traded back to the Rams?
Hi Matt, not happening. If the Rams valued Brown, they would have made an effort to keep him as a free agent — even if they had Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson ahead of him in the pecking order.
From Dave (@angryvet59):
As an admitted bigger RB fan, do you think Doaks has the goods to be another 7th rnd surprise? Also hearing Tua really likes Scarlett.
Hi Dave, not sure about "Tua really liking Scarlett." Tua will like any running back who can help him. As for Doaks, I need to see more, but in very limited viewing in the spring I saw somebody who was fighting the ball as a pass catcher. There's also another big difference between Doaks and Myles Gaskin in that, yes, Gaskin was a seventh-round pick but he had amazing production at the University of Washington. Doaks didn't have that at Cincinnati.
Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL. Feel free to submit questions every Friday for the All Dolphins mailbag.