by Ray Kuhn
Well this is surprising… After three nondescript seasons in Miami, Kenyan Drake was beginning to lose fantasy relevance and value. Despite being a former third round pick out of Alabama, things simply weren’t clicking. In three seasons entering 2019 he had a combined 9 rushing TD and 1,358 rushing yards, but now that feels like a stat line that can be his 2020 ceiling. What changed that is causing him to be drafted as the 12th running back off the board with an ADP of 19? Should we feel confident in making that selection?
Drake’s fourth season in Miami wasn’t much better than the first three, and in six games prior being traded to Arizona he carried the ball 47 times. Adam Gase deserves some of the blame, after all he played Frank Gore ahead of him in 2018, but Drake never seemed to gain momentum or take the steps necessary to grab a hold of the starting job.
His best year as a rusher came in 2017, his second professional season, when he carried the ball 133 times for 644 yards. At 4.8 yards per carry Drake did show some potential, but it wasn’t until he was traded to the Cardinals that we truly saw him capitalize on that.
In his three and half years in Miami Drake showed that he could be a factor as a receiver, and that played a large part in 2018 when he eclipsed 1,000 total yards; 535 rushing yards and 53 receptions for 477 yards while sharing time with Gore. Instead of parlaying that into greater success in 2019, Drake’s August foot injury sabotaged the remainder of his time with the Dolphins.
Despite already having David Johnson and Chase Edmonds the Cardinals rolled the dice on Drake lin a mid-season trade, and it certainly worked out. To be clear, Johnson was already battling his own health woes and performance struggles, so Arizona really was looking for a solution to move on from him (he has subsequently been traded to Houston for DeAndre Hopkins, so that is a win all around). As much as Chase Edmonds is talented, and has shown some success in flashes, he is more of a handcuff and third down option.
For as high as the Cardinals’ expectations may have been for Drake, no one could have seen his success coming. In eight games he carried the ball 123 times for 643 yards while breaking the century mark three times.
Before we go any further we need to take a closer look at Drake’s game log. Yes he had success in those three games, and they accounted for seven of his eight touchdowns with Arizona, but those other five games saw Drake rush for an average of 46 yards per game.
Drake is going to be the starter for Arizona and he has ability as both a rusher and receiver, but the track record isn’t truly there. There is talent and the role is there, but are we going to base our second round pick on three games? Don’t be so fast to take that plunge…
Make sure to check out all of our 2020 prospect rankings: