The Miami Dolphins have yet to find the perfect tight end for coach Mike McDaniel’s wide-zone scheme, but sixth-round rookie Elijah Higgins is gearing up for his shot.
He started 12 games at Stanford in his senior year and led the team with 704 receiving yards, averaging 58 yards per game. After being drafted by the Dolphins, Higgins and tight ends coach Jon Embree began watching film of one particular tight end.
“We’ve been watching a lot of (George) Kittle tape,” Higgins said, “Obviously he was there with the 49ers. Then I’m going to watch the guys here, in the system that we run, seeing how they do it and emulating that.
“I got the playbook a couple of days ago, so I’ve been digging into that. Obviously learning a few different roles I’m not quite used to. But it has been fun so far and I’m excited for this first practice.”
Higgins lined up in the slot for 497 of his 626 snaps as a senior and was inline for just 24 snaps, according to ProFootballFocus. In total, he played 45 snaps inline as a blocking tight end throughout his college career.
“In high school, I wanted to play receiver. In college, I knew that was – seeing how my body transitioned through the years, I definitely got excited for it because I think it definitely fits my skill set pretty well,” Higgins said of transitioning to tight-end full-time. “I ended up playing a big slot role [in college], so it was essentially very similar to a flexed-out F tight end minus all of the blocking assignments,
“That will carry over for sure but obviously we’re going to have to learn how to block on the interior.”