Draft Profile: Phillip Dorsett


In the next few weeks I will be breaking down the 2015 draft selections of the Indianapolis Colts. I will start at the beginning where the Colts had the 29th pick of the first round and decided to select Phillip Dorsett out of Miami.

Many fans were shocked that they would draft value over need, especially when NEED is so prominent on their roster, but Indianapolis decided to ignore their roster deficit and go with wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (5’10/185). He will now join the likes of T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, and Donte Moncrief.

In college, Dorsett made 30 career starts for Miami, taking down 121 receptions for 2,132 yards (17.6 YPR) and 17 TDs. He is also a freak show of an athlete. He shot himself up the draft boards though in Indianapolis where he melted the track with a 4.33 forty-yard blaze, and went skyward with his 37-inch vertical to go along with an amazing 10-foot-2 broad jump. He was terrific at the combine, but what can he do with those skills on the field?

Look for Dorsett to run streaks, post, and flag routes. He has the skill to beat press coverage, and gain either separation or gobble up space between himself and the defender. He can make a nice range of catches, and he does so effortlessly. Flexibility is also a weapon, as he can make the tougher catches and twist his frame to snag passes thrown behind him. He has solid instincts, and realizes how to leave room for the sidelines for those bucket throws by the quarterback. Dorsett can also identify the blitz package and utilize himself for the hot read.

Phillip Dorsett is a high point receiver, as evidenced by his vertical leap. He can also do damage on the RAC side of things. As once he maintains possession he can fly and also maneuver through the defense. Even though his size does not allow him to win many aggressive battles, he is not afraid of going over the middle and takes a hit. The lack of height will also hurt him in red zone areas, as he will not be able to get much separation in tight quarters, or be spotted in a crowd of players. His blocking skills are limited however, but he does know how and where to place his hands. Getting aggressive with a player for a much needed block is just not in his DNA. He is very intelligent, and understands what he can and cannot do. This knowledge helps him get into the most promising places to make the play a successful one.

He has great hands as he only dropped three of the 73 targets thrown his way as a senior. He also has the ability to return kicks. How will Dorsett fit into the plans of the Indianapolis Colts? First, Indianapolis is need of a kick returner, and second he fits as a back-up to T.Y. Hilton, and can be a safety net if Hilton leaves after the end of the season through free agency. It will be hard for Dorsett to get much going on his rookie season with the veteran flow of receivers the Colts have. Hilton, Johnson, and Moncrief will be one, two, and three on the depth, with Phillip Dorsett as the number four. Phillip Dorsett holds very little fantasy relevance at this point in time, as I see him only being used when the Colts are knee-deep in a third-and-23, or be asked Dorsett to stretch the defense and have the zones open up in a big way for Colts receivers.

This doesn’t mean that Dorsett can’t catch on and make a bigger role for himself. He has been putting on a show during the OTA’s, as both head coach Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck have taken notice.

“He looks really good,” head coach Chuck Pagano told the media after Wednesday’s practice.  “He’s really fast.  He’s got really good hands.  He’s really smart.  He’s picked things up.  He looks really good.” Andrew Luck stated “It’s definitely not too big for him,” Luck said of Dorsett adjusting to the NFL game.  “He fits in very, very well.  That being said, it goes for all the rookies on the offensive side of the ball.  It’s a bunch of guys doing some really, really good things and not missing a stride, not missing a beat.  So it’s fun to get those guys in the fold and work with them.”

When the Colts drafted Dorsett, it was greeted with disdain by fans. In fact, I was one of them, but I have realized that the Colts made their pick because he was the best player on their board, and is showing he can be a nice asset to have. For Dorsett, he has realized his dream, and now knows more work needs to be done.  “It’s your dream,” he said.  “It’s been your dream your whole life and now that you’re here it’s unbelievable.  But now you have to take the next step and just go out there and do everything that you can to help this team win.”  If the early reports out of Indianapolis are any indication, Phillip Dorsett will do just that.