Saturday, September 13, 2008

TE Atchison signed to practice squad, T Heerspink released

The same day the team added offensive lineman Kirk Barton to the active roster off waivers, the Dolphins made a practice squad move by signing tight end Drew Atchison and releasing offensive tackle Daren Heerspink.

An undrafted rookie out of Portland State, Heerspink worked at tackle for the Dolphins in the preseason but was waived during final cuts. He spent the first week of the regular season on the practice squad.

Background

Atchison, 23, caught 34 passes for 475 yards and a team-high six touchdowns as a senior at William & Mary. He was selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game following the season.

The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Atchison was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. He played in all four preseason games for the Cowboys, catching two passes for 24 yards in the finale against Minnesota.

Atchison was waived by the Cowboys during final cuts on August 30 and was a free agent until being signed by Miami on September 11. He will wear No. 46 in Miami, vacated by recently released fullback Boomer Grigsby.

Analysis

Although Atchison came from the Cowboys, there's no direct connection to the Dolphins' organization since he only arrived in Dallas in April. Still, it makes sense that both organizations have interest in similar players. Atchison isn't blessed with great athleticism, but he's a very smart player and has prototypical tight end size.

With the release of tight end Sean Ryan, Atchison is currently the third tight end in the organization after active roster players Anthony Fasano and David Martin. Of course, fullback Casey Cramer also has tight end experience and Atchison lacks NFL experience of any kind so he might not be close to joining the active roster. His status on the team is day by day.