DAVIE — The Miami Dolphins chose Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, using a pick obtained from the Philadelphia Eagles in the trade of Jay Ajayi.
Ballage, 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, ran a 40-yard dash of 4.46 seconds, brings power and speed and can return kicks and play all areas of special teams. Ballage once scored eight touchdowns in a game against Texas Tech.
“In my opinion there are not 130 better players and definitely not 11 better running backs,” Ballage said Saturday, after the pick. “It’s fuel to the fire and motivation for me and I’m just excited about the opportunity.”
Ballage said he considers himself “raw” because of he’s had four running backs coaches and three offensive coordinators. Ballage compared his skill set to Cardinals running back David Johnson.
According to scouting reports, Ballage is very strong and has good hands, but runs upright and needs to improve his decisiveness.
Ballage provides some insurance behind emerging Kenyan Drake and veteran Frank Gore.
After taking safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round, the Dolphins have addressed pure needs since — tight end, linebacker and running back.