Dolphins OC: Jay Ajayi '200 percent better' receiver


Jay Ajayi is a pure runner.

The Miami Dolphins' power back runs harder than any back in the NFL, blasting through defenders, eating up angles. Watch any Ajayi game last season and it immediately jumps out how tough the 23-year-old runs en route to earning 1,272 yards on 260 carries, including three 200-yard days.

The biggest criticism of Ajayi, which NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal noted in his recent re-draft of the 2015 running backs, is that he brings next to nothing to the passing game.

It's a skill that Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen believes Ajayi will be better at in 2017.

"Jay is working hard to be a three-down back," Christensen said recently, via the Palm Beach Post. "His receiving skills are 200 percent better than a year ago today."

While hyperbole is rampant during the NFL offseason, Ajayi actually has room to improve 200 percent.

Last year he caught just 27 passes for 150 yards, 5.6 yards per catch and zero receiving touchdowns. Ajayi had just two games in which he earned more than three catches and 25 yards. His longest catch of the season went for 15 yards. According to Pro Football Focus, Ajayi came in last in yards per route among running backs who played at least 25 percent of their team's snaps.

While no one expects Ajayi to morph into David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell, improving as a receiving threat is necessary for the Dolphins' offense to evolve in Adam Gase's second season.