Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dolphins sign former Texas A&M fullback Jorvorskie Lane

The Miami Dolphins added their third former Texas A&M player of the offseason this week, signing free agent fullback Jorvorskie Lane to a three-year contract.

Lane joins first-round quarterback Ryan Tannehill and undrafted rookie receiver Jeff Fuller as the third ex-Aggies player on Miami's roster, with all three playing under Dolphins' offensive coordinator Mike Sherman when he was the head coach at Texas A&M.

The signing of Lane gives the Dolphins 87 players under contract on their 90-man offseason roster. Those remaining three spots will be taken by unsigned rookies Tannehill, defensive end Olivier Vernon and tight end Michael Egnew.


Background

A Lufkin, Tex. native, Lane made an immediate impact at Texas A&M upon his arrival in 2005, rushing for 595 yards and nine touchdowns.

Weighing between 260 and 280 pounds, Lane totaled 725 yards and a career-high 19 touchdowns in 2006 before amassing 780 yards and 16 more touchdowns in the ground as a junior in 2007.

Upon Mike Sherman's arrival in 2008, Lane was moved to fullback and totaled just 93 rushing yards and five touchdowns as a senior, finishing his career with a school record 49 rushing touchdowns. A poor showing at the East-West Shrine Game damaged his stock even further and, coupled with concerns about his weight, caused Lane to go undrafted and unsigned in 2009.

In 2010, Lane played for the West Texas Roughnecks of the Indoor Football League, totaling 326 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. Lane is actually the second player from the IFL's Roughnecks to be signed by the Dolphins, joining current Redskins wideout Anthony Armstrong.

Lane participated in Texas A&M's Pro Day in 2011 and signed with the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League for the 2012 season, but was placed on the refused-to-report list in February.

In addition to Lane's connections to Sherman in Miami, he's also the paternal half-brother of Packers' tight end Jermichael Finley, who worked with by Dolphins' head coach Joe Philbin in Green Bay.


Analysis

Lane gives the Dolphins more of a traditional fullback to work behind H-back Charles Clay. Rookie CFL star Jerome Messam is out for the time being after undergoing a second surgery on his knee in May.

That being said, Lane is the definition of a camp body and is an extreme long shot to make the active roster. He was a fairly capable tailback at the collegiate level, but he's nothing more than a blocker/short-yardage back in the pros and that kind of fullback is a dying breed in the NFL.

Lane's weight has pushed 300 pounds at times and he simply doesn't offer the athleticism or agility to be a productive NFL rusher, even as a Jerome Bettis type. It also seems likely to prevent him from being a real impact on special teams, which would help his chances of making the roster.

More likely, the signing of Lane is a favor from an old coach in Sherman and gives the Dolphins a practice body at fullback with Messam out and Clay moving around the offense. But don't expect to see Lane on the roster come September and don't be surprised if he doesn't even make it to training camp.

Check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.


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