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The Alabama Crimson Tide to Miami Dolphins pipeline is quite strong these days — between the additions of Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle to the offense over the past two off-seasons, the Dolphins’ offensive identity will be sure to pull plenty of inspiration from the play that was featured in Tuscaloosa over the past few seasons. But the headlining 1st-round talents aren’t the only Miami Dolphins to call Alabama “home” as we get ready for 2021 training camp — the Dolphins signed TE/FB Carl Tucker as an undrafted free agent once the 2021 NFL draft came to a close.
Tucker, who caught 36 passes for 549 yards in 38 games as a member of the North Carolina Tar Heels program before becoming a graduate transfer to Alabama for the 2020 season, offers plenty of physicality on tape and should be expected to compete for a role as a hybrid player in Miami’s offense — which has hoarded a significant number of tight ends throughout the course of the offseason.
But Tucker doesn’t want folks to assume he’s just a mauler or a blocker. And, in his mind, there’s no better time for him to flash what else he can do than right now at rookie minicamp, when full speed and full contact isn’t an option.
“I think that’s the best part because people a lot of times just see that I block very well and they see or believe that’s all that I can do. But I personally believe that one of my strong suits as well is that I have good speed for my size, I have great hands, I feel like I run solid routes,” said Tucker.
“So it’s definitely a perfect opportunity for me to of course be smart and take care of teammates and everything, but also at the same time, get better at the other things that don’t include heavy physicality, like with route-running and stuff like that.”
Tucker’s numbers from the Alabama Pro Day are a good indication of why he wasn’t an athlete who was in high demand at the end of April, but he certainly appears to have baseline athletic ability for a tight end in the NFL. And if his former experiences from his prep days are able to shine through (he came to UNC having played only wide receiver), he may well just be able to push for a bottom of the roster spot come the start of the season.
It would be considered an upset if he did — but the foundation needed to do so can be laid starting this weekend.