In a normal year we wouldn’t talk much about the guys signed as un-drafted free agents following the NFL Draft. Aside from listing who the team signs on that day most of the players end up doing something else with their lives in a few short months. Occasionally a player will slip through and catch someones attention and make the practice squad, more rarely a player will catch the teams attention and become a starter.
Davone Bess was one of those players. Un-drafted out of Hawaii Bess became the go-to guy in the slot for the Miami Dolphins and replaced Wes Welker. His situation is a rare one on the professional level. So why is so many people talking up an un-drafted tight end named Gator Hoskins? Because he is turning heads.
Hoskins, a product of Marshall University, is bringing his hard work ethic to the team. He can block, he can catch, he can play on the line and off, and has even done a little fullback in his college career. The question really came down to how he would translate to the NFL. For whatever reason, Hoskins was listed as a project at the next level and his draft stock fell out of the seven rounds which led him to drawing a contract from Miami after the draft.
Coming into the draft, Hoskins was favorably compared to another Miami TE, Charles Clay. Clay is entering his final season under contract and his future with the Dolphins could be hindered by Hoskins growth as both play a similar style.
The Palm Beach Post said that Hoskins “emergence” could lead Joe Philbin to keep five tight ends this season. The Dolphins currently have six on their roster including Charles Clay, Michael Egnew, Dion Sims, Kyle Miller, and 2014 draft selection Arthur Lynch. Brad Barrett is the player most likely to be cut first but truth be told Hoskin’s emergence, should it continue, could spell the end for Miller and/or Egnew. Whether or not the Dolphins keep five TE’s, they don’t have a fullback listed on their roster, will depend on the talent on other positions as well.