Dolphins training camp hero Drew Morgan calm as he waits out roster cuts

Drew Morgan has been one of the Dolphins’ best undrafted rookies. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

MINNEAPOLIS—Regardless of whether it ends this weekend, slot receiver Drew Morgan’s had a great run with the Miami Dolphins.

He went undrafted out of Arkansas, but immediately gained attention in Organized Team Activities and has been one of the team’s top rookies leading up to the season. He knows, though, that Thursday’s preseason finale at Minnesota could be his last time suiting up for Miami.

If that’s the case, he’ll leave completely satisfied about maximizing his opportunity.

“I wouldn’t take back a thing,” Morgan said. “I think I finished every day empty, nothing in the tank. I was dead every day. It started with the first day of OTAs, when you come out there with no shoulder pads and you prove you can play at this level and learn the offense quick. I don’t think I slowed down at all from no pads to pads. I think they saw that.”

Nothing against Morgan, who is 6-foot, 187 pounds with good speed, but it’s going to be tough for any of the rookie receivers to make the roster when Miami cuts from 89 players to 53 by Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

Adam Gase began with five receivers on the roster last year and finished with six, and three of those spots are occupied by Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker. Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant look like they’ll make it as well, and the Dolphins have to decide whether to wait for Rashawn Scott to come back from a knee injury or put him on Injured Reserve.

Seventh-round pick Isaiah Ford is already on Injured Reserve for the year.

Among the rest of the group, Morgan and Damore’ea Stringfellow look like the strongest candidates to make the cut. In the first three preseason games, Stringfellow had 130 yards on four catches, including a 99-yard touchdown, and Morgan has one catch for five.

Morgan was someone the Dolphins targeted as a possible late pick or undrafted signee because of what he showed at Arkansas. Over his junior and senior seasons, he totaled 128 catches for 1,582 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Gase was fully impressed by mid-June, saying, “He’s put himself in a good position to compete, and that’s all really you can ask for. Nobody even probably knew who he really was coming in here, and he’s put himself on the map.”

Morgan knows it’ll be a close call, but that doesn’t rattle him. He’ll be at ease while he awaits word on his future over the next few days.

“I don’t really think about that; I just pray,” he said. “It’s in God’s hands. God’s in control. I gave all my anxiety to Him this week, so I don’t really wonder.”

This is the first year of the NFL eliminating the mid-preseason cut to 75 players, so there will be roughly 1,200 free agents flooding the market this weekend. Morgan could draw interest from a new team, or the Dolphins could keep him around by signing him to their practice squad.

Scott, for example, started last year on the practice squad before being added to the roster in November. He was active for the final two regular-season games and the playoff game.

That’s a possible route for Morgan if he misses the cut, but he’s appreciative of the past few months even if it doesn’t work out that way.

“It’s been a dream,” he said. “I don’t know how it came to be. I just play football, and I didn’t think it was anything else but just a game. But now I’ve developed that love and passion. You’ve gotta have a passion. I’ve developed that through these guys. I’ve got great leaders ahead of me.

“I’ve learned from the best, and Jarvis is one of those guys where it’s like you can’t miss a step with him, because he’s on you like that. He’s helped me a lot. Kenny’s helped me a lot. DeVante’s helped me a lot. Those guys—just the way they handle themselves has helped me. Sometimes they don’t talk as much, but they’ll show it. I want to prove to the coaches and the GMs that I can play with these guys.”

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