Report: More than half of NFL showed interest in Miami Dolphins rookie before 2024 draft

3 Min Read
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins added to their quarterback room following the 2024 NFL Draft when they signed undrafted free agent Gavin Hardison out of the University of Texas at El Paso. According to a report from Miami sports reporter Barry Jackson, the Dolphins were far from the only team interested in Hardison.

Jackson reported that five teams offered Hardison a contract after the draft, and a whopping 21 out of the 32 total NFL teams showed interest in the young gunslinger.

Talented players often fall through the cracks during the NFL draft, and there are a lot of examples of undrafted rookies going on to have fantastic careers in the league. Quarterbacks such as Warren Moon and Kurt Warner come to mind when discussing signal-callers who did not hear their names called during the draft but went on to accomplish great things in the league.

When it comes to Hardison, it looks like one of the primary reasons why he wasn’t considered worthy of a draft pick was because he underwent surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament back in November. That surgery is more commonly known as Tommy John surgery, and while it is a very common surgery for professional baseball players to undergo, it is less common amongst the ranks of NFL talent.

Still, if the success rate of UCL surgery for baseball players is any indication, it is very likely that Hardison hasn’t experienced a drop-off in his throwing ability since being medically cleared back in March.

Another likely reason why Hardison didn’t hear his name called last week was because of his rather pedestrian numbers while at UTEP.

During the 2022 season, which was one of his best, Hardison posted just a 52.1 completion percentage with 2,044 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns and eight interceptions. In the previous year, he played in 13 games and finished with 18 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.

It seems clear that the interest that he garnered from the NFL was mostly based on his perceived potential rather than what he was able to accomplish at the collegiate level.

Now, he’ll have a chance to prove what his full potential is. While starter Tua Tagovailoa and backup Mike White seem cemented in their respective sports, the third-string spot is more of a competition.

Skylar Thompson was drafted in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft, so it will be interesting to see if the undrafted rookie can beat out the former draftee once the real competition gets underway during training camp this summer.

Share This Article
Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NFL. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Dolphin Nation.