While he doesn’t have the anticipation and excitement similar to that of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Malcolm Perry’s college football resume speaks for itself.
And while it took him until the final ticks of the 2020 NFL Draft to have his name heard, Perry could very well be a player used effectively and immediately.
As the old saying goes, “the last shall be first.”
What the numbers say:
Perry became the eighth player from US Naval Academy to be selected in the NFL Draft, as the Miami Dolphins chose him with the No. 246 pick. More importantly, he’s the first Dolphin ever drafted from the Naval Academy.
There must be something remarkable about him.
Perry can do it all. Being listed as a 5-foot-9 quarterback/running back/wide receiver/return specialist, Perry has consistently proven to serve well at any position he’s tasked to play at.
Let’s pinpoint the tangibles. Holding the FBS single-season record for most rushing yards by a signal-caller with 2,017 yards, Perry also accounted for 21 touchdowns on the ground and another seven by air in 2019. Additionally, as a kick returner, he averaged 24.6 yards during his four years at Navy.
May I remind you, he accomplished all of this while rostered as a quarterback.
If what makes Perry great was just his football skills, I’d stop here. However, there is so much more to Perry than what’s on the stat sheet.
It’s a reality that fans are eager to criticize what they’re not familiar with. This is especially true with talent from smaller football programs. For this reason, I must go further and highlight Perry’s most outstanding traits.
What the numbers don’t say:
Perry grew up in Tennessee living right outside of a military base. Both of his parents were Army cadets. It was written on the stars that he would join the Navy. Perry was raised with discipline. If you ask something of him, he goes for it. Furthermore, he doesn’t just do the job, he’s exceptional at it. You give Malcolm a playbook to learn, I guarantee you that will pin it to memory.
More than just a football player:
In all seriousness, he’s not just any player and you know what I mean. This man has courage and resilience. When Perry was only 11 years old, he was faced with the reality of his oldest sister’s death. To be the man he is today, Perry had to find the strength to carry on after disgrace.
It’s clear he chose the righteous path and just kept going.
Malcolm has a good support system, looking up to his parents Bonny and Malcolm Sr., in addition to his college head coach Ken Niumatalolo and other collegiate coaches for guidance. All of these high character men left their mark on him.
Perry’s discipline goes beyond the scope of mandatory for a Navy student. Consequently, training instead of resting or having fun, that’s just part of his day-to-day.
Toughness is another trait that Malcolm embodies. Despite suffering from a stomach bug in the first game of his freshman campaign, Perry took the field in relief of the starting quarterback that went down with an injury. Perry showed poise, leading his squad to victory.
Perry was visibly the best player on his Midshipmen team. His former coaches agree, later admitting that it was a mistake not to give him the starting role sooner.
Certainly, we can see why considering all that has been stated here.
Miami’s last draft pick?
All of these outstanding qualities surpass his numbers, indubitably. Malcolm Perry is Miami’s wild card. These past days at training camp, he has shown his high moral standing and integrity, which is important to the Dolphins’ culture.
Malcolm is a rising football star with many talents. He’s continuing to garner the respect of coach Brian Flores on and off the field while fighting for a roster spot at the position they please.
Considering all of the above, I’d assume Miami’s final pick in the 2020 Draft isn’t worth that of a seventh round pick after all.