The Dolphins have selected Stanford tight end Elijah Higgins with their sixth-round pick at No. 197 overall. Higgins becomes the 44th tight end drafted in Dolphins history and first since tight end Hunter Long in 2021.
Higgins becomes the fifth tight end drafted from Stanford since 2016 and the sixth Stanford player (first tight end) drafted by the Dolphins. He joins fellow Cardinal Jake Bailey, whom the Dolphins recently signed as a free agent punter.
Here are five things to know about the Dolphins new tight end: Elijah Higgins:
1. An Athletic Family
Higgins' father, George, played football for one season at the University of South Florida before enlisting in the military. His mother, Karon, played basketball in junior college and briefly with the Puerto Rican national team. Higgins’ brother, Kaleb, is a defensive back at California and his sister, Bailey, is looking to play Division I volleyball.
2. Leading the Cardinal
Higgins emerged as an integral part of Stanford's aerial attack in his final two seasons at The Farm. He recorded 104 receptions for 1,204 yards over his junior and senior seasons and was the team's top receiver in 2022 (59 rec, 704 yards).
3. Continuing the Stanford Tradition
While Higgins played wide receiver at Stanford, his size and skill set has prompted a position change to tight end. Higgins is the fifth Stanford tight end to be drafted since 2016 and joins notable recent selections such as Dalton Schultz (2018), Austin Hooper (2016), Zach Ertz (2013), and Coby Fleener (2012).
As Higgins prepares to be the latest Cardinal tight end in the NFL, he recognizes the strong foundation Stanford has set.
"Yeah, I mean coming from Stanford, I think they utilized me well in the slot running up and down the seam," he said. "And then the conversations I had with the Dolphins and the coaching staff were just along the lines of making that transition to playing tight end and the development process that comes along with that. I'm excited about it for sure and ready to get to work."
4. Filled With Excitement and Ready For the Challenge
Regardless of his role in the Dolphins offensive system, Higgins is looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
"I'm excited for challenges, man," Higgins said. "I'm excited to grow. I'm excited for the experiences and stuff, and I'm excited to get better. So, I'll take on those challenges, and I'm excited for them."
The NFL's Lance Zierlein believes Higgins, "appears to have the necessary tools to become a dynamic F tight end with the ability to work all three levels of the field."
Zierlein also writes that Higgins, "has the frame and technique to be an adequate run blocker in space" and could "blossom for an offense ready to plug him into two tight end sets."
5. Forming a Connection with Embree
In addition to Higgins' general excitement around joining the Dolphins organization, he's particularly happy to be working with his new position coach, Jon Embree. The Dolphins assistant head coach/tight ends has coached a long list of successful tight ends throughout his illustrious 30-plus year coaching career including Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, George Kittle and Mercedes Lewis among others.
"The one coach I spent the most time with was the tight ends coach, Coach Embree," Higgins said. "I love Coach Embree, to be honest. He's one of the favorite guys I met through this whole process, and that's in all honesty. So I'm excited to work with him. I'm excited to be challenged, and I'm excited to learn from underneath him."