On Day 3 of the NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins finally selected a tight end — sort of.
The long wait for the Miami Dolphins’ first pick Saturday finally concluded when the team took Stanford pass-catcher Elijah Higgins with their sixth-round selection, pick No. 197.
Higgins (6 foot 3, 235 pounds) was a big college receiver at Stanford, but he has the size to translate as a tight end in the NFL.
In 2022, he had 59 receptions for 704 yards and two touchdowns after becoming a focal point in the Cardinal offense as a junior in 2021 when he made 45 catches for 500 yards and four touchdowns.
Higgins is touted for his crisp route-running as a big, possession slot receiver who has better blocking capabilities than most at the position. He ran a 4.54-second 40-yard dash.
The Dolphins were in need of bodies at the tight end position with just three on the roster — Durham Smythe, Eric Saubert and Tanner Conner. This offseason, they let Mike Gesicki go in free agency, traded Hunter Long and released Cethan Carter.
Gesicki’s loss, after he went to the rival New England Patriots, looms largest as he was a talented pass-catching tight end with valuable red-zone abilities as a tall, long target. Miami, though, needed a tight end that could also block in coach Mike McDaniel’s wide-zone run-blocking scheme.
The Dolphins added their third pick to the 2023 class after selecting South Carolina cornerback Cam Smith and Texas A&M running back Devon Achane in the second and third rounds Friday night.
Later Saturday, Miami still has its seventh-round pick, No. 238.
This story will be updated.