Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dolphins sign WR Chris Hogan to practice squad

The Miami Dolphins made a couple practice squad transactions Tuesday, releasing wide receiver Patrick Carter and signing rookie wide receiver Chris Hogan.

Carter, who spent some of last season on the Dolphins' practice squad as well as training camp with the team in 2011, was waived during final cuts after catching one pass during the preseason. He was re-signed to the practice squad on Oct. 25.

Hogan will spend the final week of the Dolphins' season on the team's practice squad before becoming a free agent. He will then be eligible to sign a future contract with the Dolphins or any other NFL team in 2012.


Background

A multi-sport star at Ramapo High School in New Jersey, Hogan received football scholarship offers from Rutgers, Connecticut, Kansas, Temple and Western Michigan, but instead chose to play lacrosse at Penn State. He led the Nittany Lions with 29 goals in 2009 and was an all-conference selection.

Despite his success on the lacrosse field, Hogan regretted the decision to not continue to play football in college. He transferred to Division I-FCS Monmouth in 2010, where he caught 12 passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns as a wide receiver while also spending significant time at cornerback due to injuries and intercepting three passes.

Despite his limited experience on the gridiron, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Hogan impressed scouts with his 4.47 speed and 28 bench reps Fordham University's pro day in March. He also trained with current NFL players such as Brian Cushing and Sinorice Moss, while modeling his game after former Monmouth receiver Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys.

Signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent, Hogan caught one pass for no gain in the preseason while being limited with ankle injury. He was waived during final cuts and signed to the New York Giants' practice squad in September before being waived later that month.

Hogan will receive a salary of $5,700 for his week on the Dolphins' practice squad. He is eligible to be signed to another team's active roster and will become a free agent at season's end should he remain with the Dolphins.


Analysis

It's no loss to see Carter go, as he'd been with the Dolphins on a few occasions dating back to last season and hadn't seen the active roster. He was valuable as a practice body at wide receiver as someone that knew the system after Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace were lost for the season, but there was no upside to be had.


Tony Sparano may be gone, but the Dolphins' connection to Monmouth continues. General manager Jeff Ireland was a member of the Cowboys' front office in 2006 when the team signed eventual Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin as an undrafted free agent, and the Dolphins used a fifth-round pick on tight end John Nalbone in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Hogan is likely a very raw prospect coming out of college with such little experience, but you have to admire him for making it this far considering how little football he's actually played since high school. He's obviously a terrific all-around athlete and clearly has an impressive work ethic.

The question with Hogan is upside, and he has to be considered a long shot to have any kind of substantial pro career at this point. He obviously impressed the Dolphins enough in a recent workout to earn a practice squad spot, and he'll use his brief time in Miami the rest of the season to try and earn a spot on the offseason roster.

The odds are good Hogan will be re-signed sometime in January so the team can get a longer look at him and potentially bring him to camp, but he'll have a massive uphill battle to make the team and even be on the roster by the preseason.

As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.


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