Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dolphins sign H-back Dominique Jones to practice squad

Entering a week of practice following their bye, the Miami Dolphins made some minor changes to the practice squad by releasing linebacker Joe Holland and signing H-back Dominique Jones.

Jones joins the Dolphins' practice squad after spending training camp and the beginning of the regular season with the Indianapolis Colts, which was preceded by stints in several minor football leagues.

Holland was signed to the practice squad last week (which I was unable to cover thanks to my day job covering the ALCS for TBS). He was an undrafted rookie out of Purdue that had previously spent time with the San Francisco 49ers.


Background

A San Diego, Calif. native, Jones played college football at Division II Shepherd University, where he earned second-team all-conference and third-team All-American honors as a senior with 34 receptions, 403 yards and nine touchdowns.

After going undrafted in 2011, Jones signed and played or the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League.

In 2012, he led the Indoor Football League's Reading Express with 39 receptions for 349 yards and seven touchdowns before signing with the Indianapolis Colts on May 1.

Jones caught three passes for 66 yards in the preseason, including an impressive, tackle-breaking 42-yard score you can see here. He made the team out of training camp, catching one pass for eight yards in his NFL debut and playing in the team's first four games before being waived on Oct. 8. He spent another week on the team's practice squad before being released.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jones played 33 offensive snaps for the Colts over his four games. He also played special teams during two of those games, recording zero tackles while being penalized for a fasemask in Week 3 against the Jaguars.


Analysis

It's still unclear what position Jones will play in Miami, as he played tight end in college and in the UFL and IFL, but was listed as a fullback with the Colts. It's not uncommon to see college tight ends lacking elite athleticism move to more of a fullback/H-back role at the pro level.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Jones obviously does boast some receiving skills and it's fairly impressive he was able to make the Colts' roster out of camp and even see some action on offense given how off the radar he was when he went undrafted.

That being said, Jones isn't close to making the Dolphins' active roster and will be on a tryout basis in Miami as he looks to impress on special teams and on offense in practice. He's not a threat to fellow former IFL-er Jorvorskie Lane at fullback, nor is he likely to supplant Charles Clay or Jeron Mastrud at tight end. (He's probably no worse than Michael Egnew, but as we all know he's clearly received a one-year pass as a third-round pick.)

The Dolphins have been rotating their practice squad players quite a bit over the last month and there is no guarantee Jones makes it beyond this week.