Chris Hogan had humble beginnings with the Dolphins

It was nearly five years and three teams ago, but New England Patriots receiver Chris Hogan's humble NFL roots included a stint with the Miami Dolphins.

Hogan bounced around as an undrafted rookie in 2011 out of Monmouth. He had a short time with the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants before landing in Miami on the practice squad in former head coach Tony Sparano's last year.

But Hogan began to flash in 2012, which was former head coach Joe Philbin's first season, and was surprisingly impressive in spring practices and training camp. So much was the case that Dolphins teammates gave him the nickname "7-Eleven," because he consistently got open, often as a scout receiver against Miami's first-team defense.

Despite Hogan's performance, he remained on Miami's practice squad but nothing more. Hogan never played a game or registered a stat with the Dolphins.

The Buffalo Bills claimed Hogan a year later, and that was the end of his run with the Dolphins. Hogan played three years in Buffalo from 2013 to 2015 as a role player and totaled 87 receptions for 959 yards and six touchdowns in that span.

New England signed Hogan to a three-year contract that opened some eyes this offseason. The Patriots were confident in what they saw in Hogan after facing him within the division for the past three seasons. Hogan responded with a career-high 680 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

But it was Hogan's career night on Sunday that really stood out. Hogan had a career-high 180 receiving yards and two touchdowns in New England's 36-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Hogan, as a result, is heading to his first Super Bowl and proved the Dolphins gave up on him way too soon.