Dolphins bring back trio of 2016 draft picks to practice squad

Seventh-round draft pick Brandon Doughty is unlikely to make the 53-man roster unless Jay Cutler or Matt Moore goes down. Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire

The Miami Dolphins had several surprises on their 53-man roster with undrafted rookies making the team. The result of that was Miami had to release some of its recent draft picks, which included three players from its 2016 draft class.

However, all three players -- quarterback Brandon Doughty, tight end Thomas Duarte and defensive back Jordan Lucas -- cleared waivers Sunday and returned to the Dolphins via the practice squad. These were players Miami’s coaching staff spent a lot of time developing and now that continues.

The Dolphins filled eight of their 10 practice slots. Here is a look at who was signed:

QB Brandon Doughty: Miami’s 2016 seventh-round pick beat out David Fales for the No. 3 quarterback job. However, the Dolphins usually carry just two quarterbacks on the active roster. So don’t expect to see Doughty called up unless there is an injury to Cutler or Moore.

TE Thomas Duarte: Another seventh-round pick from a year ago, Duarte continues his work as an in-line blocker and is getting stronger at the next level. He hasn’t shown much in training camp or the preseason, but the Dolphins believe there is enough potential there to keep working with him.

S Jordan Lucas: A former sixth-round pick in 2016, Lucas played nine games for Miami last season on special teams, including the playoffs. Lucas has some versatility to play safety, corner and the nickel spots, which kept him on the roster. He could be called up if there is an injury at any of these spots.

OT Sean Hickey: The Dolphins signed Hickey late in training camp on Aug. 15 but he showed enough potential to stay with the program. Miami doesn’t have a lot of depth on the offensive line and needs young talent, such as Hickey, to develop quickly.

WR Drew Morgan: The undrafted rookie created some buzz in the spring but essentially fizzled out with an average training camp and preseason. Miami wants to see more of the spring version of Morgan on the practice squad.

WR Malcolm Lewis: The local University of Miami product improved as training camp went on but not enough to make the 53-man roster. He doesn’t have ideal size but made some plays this summer.

DE Cameron Malveaux: He was a longshot to make the 53-man roster from the start because this is one of Miami’s deepest positions. Still, Malveaux has some potential if he continues to develop.

RB De’Veon Smith: This is another position where the Dolphins are stacked. But Smith, a four-year player from the University of Michigan, will provide injury insurance.