2006 Draft Preview: Running backs

As the 2006 NFL draft gets closer, we present a complete preview, including the Dolphins' needs and possible picks, as well as the top prospects. We continue with a look at the running back position.

How the Dolphins stack up at the position

The Dolphins could be in great shape at this spot or they could be in the market for another starter-caliber back to go along with Ronnie Brown. Nick Saban reiterated on Thursday that he believes running back is a two-starter position, which means the NFL's ruling on Ricky Williams' appeal could play into the Dolphins' draft plans. Sammy Morris was re-signed in the offseason and he has running ability, but he's borderline starter material and he also has a history of getting slowed by nagging injuries. Beyond Brown and Morris, the Dolphins also have Travis Minor and Kay-Jay Harris. Minor is a tremendous special teams player, but never has contributed very much on offense, while Harris remains a project. At fullback, the Dolphins appear to be set after signing free agent veteran Fred Beasley to join returning starter Darian Barnes. Barnes is a tremendous, physical blocker, while Beasley is more of a weapon on offense in the passing game.

Dolphins' last pick at the position: Halfback, Ronnie Brown, 2005, Round 1; Fullback, Deon Dyer, 2000, Round 4

Potential Dolphins pick(s) at the position

It all depends on how Williams' situation gets resolved. Saban said Thursday he had not gotten an indication from the NFL as to when a decision would be rendered, but one would think it will come before the draft. If Williams wins his appeal, there's really no need for the Dolphins to spend a draft pick on a running back. If Williams' suspension is upheld and he's forced to miss the 2006 season, we certainly could see the Dolphins taking a running back, perhaps as early as the third or fourth round. One name to remember at that spot in the draft is Jerious Norwood from Mississippi State.

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