Tha Sports Junkies 101

Miami Dolphins Recap: Jakeem Grant Shined Bright

Jakeem Grant shined Jim Monet Via Flickr


Preseason Is Over For The Miami Dolphins

The preseason is officially over, and the Dolphins finished out the exhibition season with a strong 30-9 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Only two or three true starters got playing time, but the effort was impressive. Jakeem Grant shined bright as did David Fales and Kenyan Drake.

Jakeem Grant Shined Bright In Preseason Finale

The possibility second-year wideout Jakeem Grant wouldn’t make the team was a real one. Last season, Grant had suspect hands and was a questionable route runner at times. All of that was put to bed on Thursday night when Jakeem Grant shined bright.

On a night where 20 out of 22 starters sat out, star power was on display from Grant. Finishing with four catches for 141 yards, Grant was on a mission. He also drew three penalties, all in the first half. Grant has been primarily working on the outside as opposed to in the slot like last year, and the results are hard to ignore.

Adam Gase commented on the speedster’s abilities. “I think it changed in the spring,” Gase said. “We noticed a big difference. He’s hard to cover out there. Usually when you put a smaller guy outside you’re worried that he’s just going to get grabbed by bigger corners and held up. But what he does is he’s so shifty he’s hard to get hands on and then he gets by you quick.”

David Fales Blossoms

Throughout the Dolphins’ wild preseason, Fales has been consistent in the passing game. Albeit he is going up against third and fourth-string defenders, he is also a third or fourth-string quarterback. Fales staked his claim to a roster spot on Thursday night.

Fales was slinging it early, going 9 of 15 for 139 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the first half alone. He has primarily served as a backup behind Brandon Doughty and Matt Moore. However, Fales had one of the best nights of the preseason for any quarterback. He showed it most with his deep ball. On passes 20 yards or more, Fales went 3-4 for 128 yards and a touchdown. When pressured, on five drop backs he was 4-5 for 100 yards and a touchdown. Good for a 158.3 QB rating according to Pro Football Focus.

David Fales is no Dan Marino, but he is definitely an asset. Maybe the Phins put him on the trade block after his showing and hope to get another defensive player in a trade.

Kenyan Drake Is The Third Running Back (?)

Backing up Jay Ajayi is a tough task. Fortunately, Miami has two talented change of pace backs behind him. Damien Williams sat out this week due to an injury, but he is the number two back on the team. Williams and Drake are both good receivers out of the backfield. Both have better speed than Ajayi.

But Kenyan Drake is fighting to take that number two spot.

On 5 carries for 22 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive, Drake looked shifty. Although he didn’t break any huge runs, he always knows where he is supposed to be. Putting his head down for hard yardage, he plunged in for a 1-yard score. Drake’s speed will be called upon this year, and the Dolphins may need it.

Though it was only one drive, Drake shows his ability to make people miss. He could easily be the best outside zone rusher on the team. The Dolphins will take advantage of that this season. Kenyan Drake may be an X-factor in South Beach for 2017. He runs with authority and anger. Not bad qualities for possibly the third best back on the team.

Final Thoughts

Final cuts for the 53-man roster will be made on Saturday. When the Phins face Tampa Bay for their regular season opener on September 10th, we’ll see if the right cuts were made.