Tennessee’s Jaylen Wright can take Dolphins’ offense to the next level

Nov 25, 2023; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers running back Jaylen Wright (0) runs
Nov 25, 2023; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers running back Jaylen Wright (0) runs / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee football’s highest-ranked NFL Draft prospect is off the board after the Miami Dolphins drafted him in the 4th round of the 2024 draft. Jaylen Wright rushed for 1,013 yards and four touchdowns in his final season on Rocky Top on his way to 2,297 career rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. 

The Dolphins traded away a 3rd round pick in next year’s draft to move up and draft Wright with the 120th pick in the fourth round. Knowing they would make a splash by giving up a draft pick, they chose to bolster their running back room and bring a heavyweight to their backfield. 

Wright came to Tennessee as a three-star high school prospect and a member of the 2020 recruiting class with Jeremy Pruitt. He chose the Vols over Arkansas, Miami, North Carolina State, and Mississippi State to join the Vols, ultimately putting him in a spot to be drafted in this year’s NFL Draft. 

While Pruitt wasn’t around long after Wright committed to Tennessee, he immediately impacted Tennessee’s new and improved offense under first-year head coach Josh Heupel. Wright rushed for 409 yards on 89 carries in nine appearances for the Vols. 

What are the Dolphins getting in Jaylen Wright?

His ability to open any game at the running back position made him a game-changer for the Vols, which will make him a game-changer at the next level. Combine his ability to find gaps in the defense and explode through the defense’s front seven, and he has the potential to be a franchise running back in the National Football League. 

He averages over 7 yards per carry and brings speed and quickness, power, and elusiveness to Miami, which is something Dolphins fans are familiar with at the receiver position. Wright joins an experienced offense led by Tua Tagovialoa and will play under another offensive-minded head coach, Mike McDaniel. 

I would not be surprised if Wright immediately impacts Miami as a rookie. He likely won’t rush for 1,000 yards or even 500 yards, but he can be a change in flow for the Dolphins and a reliable, young back they can lean on down the stretch of a long NFL season. 

Wright could be the player Miami needs to take their offense to the next level. The Dolphins have their 1,000-yard rusher in Raheem Mostert, but that doesn’t mean Wright could be the same home run hitter he was in college for the Dolphins. 

Wright’s tires don’t have much wear. While he was RB1 for the Vols, he split time with other backs and saved his legs for the NFL. He will join De’Vone Achane and Mostert in the running back room and will likely look to split time with both backs, similar to how he has done the past three years at Tennessee.