Surprise! Colts draft receiver in 1st round

Many expected the Colts to select a defensive player, but they instead added another speedy pass target for Andrew Luck.

Anyone who stayed up late Thursday night might have blinked a couple sleepy moments in disbelief at the Indianapolis Colts’ first-round pick with the 29th overall selection in the NFL draft.

A supposed Super Bowl contender seemingly overloaded with offensive firepower stuck with that side of the ball by choosing University of Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett at about 11 p.m..

While Dorsett is an undeniable speed burner — he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and then 4.29 and 4.27 at his pro day — but fans and media shared their surprise via social media because most expected the Colts to concentrate on bolstering the defense.

“I think it just shows that we stick to our guns when it comes to taking the best player on our board. It’s not just party talk,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said.

Head coach Chuck Pagano assured there are enough players still available in the draft and that the Colts would “add the right pieces.”

Dorsett admitted on a conference call he was surprised to be selected by the Colts. They had chatted at the NFL Scouting Combine when he was in town at Lucas Oil Stadium in February, but he didn’t have any inclination this would occur.

“I can’t wait to get there and get to work,” Dorsett said.

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The Colts have lost at New England by double digits in back-to-back playoffs, the most recent nightmare 45-7 in January. The defense was ranked 11th overall last season but struggled against the run when it mattered most — the Patriots ran for 177 yards and three scores in that blowout.

So that had many predicting a defensive pick.

“He was higher than anyone else on our board,” Grigson said.

Dorsett joins a receiving group with T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Vincent Brown, Duron Carter and Griff Whalen, among others. At 5-10 and 195 pounds, expect Dorsett to be used initially at slot receiver.

His Hurricanes numbers don’t jump off a stat sheet. He caught 31 passes for 826 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior. But the 26.6-yard average per catch led the nation.

“They’ve got a really good receiving corps,” Dorsett said. “And adding to that, I think we can be one of the best.”

Asked about having the opportunity to play with quarterback Andrew Luck, he said, “That’s the best thing about it, honestly. Being able to play with an amazing quarterback like that, it’s just one of the best feelings ever.”

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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