Matt Brieda Named Miami Dolphins’ Most Underrated Player Entering 2020 Season

Matt Breida Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins made a slew of free agent signings and trades this offseason.

Adding Pro Bowl cornerback Byron Jones and Super Bowl champion linebacker Kyle Van Noy were high-profile moves.

But of all the transactions Miami has made this spring, one is flying under the radar.

On April 25, the Dolphins traded a 2020 fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for running back Matt Breida.

According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Breida is the Dolphins’ most underrated player heading into the season.

Breida, 25, played his first three seasons in San Francisco. He started no games as a rookie before breaking out in 2018, amassing 1,075 yards from scrimmage and five total touchdowns.

Last season wasn’t as kind to Breida.

The 49ers had more team success (winning the NFC Championship), but Breida struggled in a loaded backfield.

Raheem Mostert led the team in rushing yards, but three players ran for over 500 yards (Mostert, Breida and Tevin Coleman). It was the epitome of a committee system.

Breida played just 13 games (five starts), totaling 743 yards from scrimmage and two scores.

His yards per attempt also dropped slightly from 5.3 in 2018 to 5.1 in 2019.

Still, PFF is high on Breida entering 2020.

Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins in rushing last season, so any help on the ground is welcome. Miami also signed free agent Jordan Howard to complete its revamped backfield.

“Breida has some serious wheels, coming in as the NFL’s fastest ball carrier during each of the last two seasons per Next Gen Stats,” PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote. “He also is one of just two qualifying running backs with over 40% of his rushing yardage coming on 15-plus yard runs in both 2018 and 2019. The committee approach in San Francisco and injuries have kept down his usage, but that doesn’t make Breida any less of a big play threat as both a runner and receiver. “

Breida will join another committee with Howard, but they are different types of backs.

Howard (6-feet, 224 pounds) is a big, physical runner, while Breida (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) brings the speed element that the Dolphins desperately lacked last season.

If Howard and Breida can stay healthy, their contrasting styles should complement each other well in the Dolphins’ vastly improved backfield.