When the Miami Dolphins took running back Daniel Thomas in the second round of the NFL draft, it was an indication that the team views Thomas as its running back of the future — and maybe of the present, if Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams don’t return.
But after three years as a backup running back in Miami, Lex Hilliard thinks it’s time people consider him as part of the mix.
“I’ve got to go out and grab it,” Hilliard told Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel. “I’ve been privileged to learn behind Ricky and Ronnie, Patrick [Cobbs], even learn the fullback position playing behind [Lousaka Polite]. Given the opportunity I’m going to put my best foot forward and give this thing a run, give it the best shot I got [aiming for] the starting position. That’s what I want.”
Given the way the Dolphins’ coaches used Hilliard last season, it doesn’t seem like they see him as someone they want with the ball in his hands: He played in all 16 games but never had a single carry and caught just one pass for three yards.
But Hilliard is excited about what he can do in the system that new Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is planning to install. Playing in Daboll’s system in Cleveland last year, Peyton Hillis went from an afterthought to a star, and Hilliard has a similar running style to Hillis.
Of course, if the Dolphins thought Hilliard could have a similar impact to Hillis, they wouldn’t have drafted Thomas.