Patriots sign 2015 fourth round pick to practice squad
Douglas started six games last year for the Dolphins as a rookie. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo
The Patriots shuffled their offensive line depth on Tuesday, signing guard Jamil Douglas to their practice squad and releasing offensive lineman Ian Silberman in a corresponding move.
Douglas is only a year removed from being a fourth round pick of the Dolphins. In fact, Douglas was drafted just three spots after the Patriots took fellow guard Tre Jackson 111th overall, and 17 picks before the Pats selection of current starting guard Shaq Mason in the same round. He won a starting job in camp last year, but was mercifully benched after a brutal opening month of play. He would resurface in the starting lineup for the final two games of 2015 at center, including a season ending win against the Patriots.
Douglas failed to make an impression with the new regime in Miami, who had no part in drafting him with a relatively high pick. He was part of the Dolphins final cuts this summer and has spent the majority of the 2016 season on Miami's practice squad, with a one week call up to the active roster back in Week 4. He was finally cut from the team altogether last week, as part of a roster purge that also included failed linemen Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas.
While Douglas clearly has a ways to go in turning his brief NFL career around, one thing on his side is his athleticism. Douglas was considered one of the most athletic interior prospects in the entire draft last year, with that upside leading the Dolphins to pick him up early on Day 3. Athleticism is a quality prized by the Pats more than most from their interior lineman, so perhaps some time working behind the scenes with Dante Scarnecchia could be just what the doctor ordered for Douglas. His ability to play center in a pinch will also appeal to a coaching staff that prizes versatility.