Breakdown: Colts Select Phillip Dorsett

Everything you need to know about the Indianapolis Colts’ first-round selection of wide receiver Phillip Dorsett out of Miami from Scout's college and pro football experts.

Awaiting Image
Phillip Dorsett
Miami (Fl) / 5'10 / 185 lbs
  • WR
  • [1] #29

Analysis

Dorsett smoked the Lucas Oil Stadium turf, running a 4.33 [forty] at the Combine. This was combing off the heels of an impressive Senior Bowl performance. Dorsett had a solid career with the Hurricanes, with 29 starts. He finished with 121 receptions for 2,132 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. Dorsett's game is very similiar to former Miami great Santana Moss. Speed. Speed. Speed. I was very impressed with how he caught the ball in Mobile. He showed soft hands and good body control. Dorsett will bring some lightning to one NFL offense.

Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation

Phillip Dorsett smoked the Lucas Oil Stadium turf, running a 4.33 [forty] at the Combine and now he’s headed to the Colts as their first round pick. Dorsett had a solid career with the Hurricanes, with 29 starts. He finished with 121 receptions for 2,132 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. Dorsett's game is very similiar to former Miami great Santana Moss. Speed. Speed. Speed. I was very impressed with how he caught the ball in Mobile at Senior Bowl. He showed soft hands and good body control. Dorsett will bring some more lighting to Indy and Andrew Luck. Think about that receiver corps now – TY Hilton, Phillip Dorsett, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief and some good tight ends. Wow.

Postseason action helped demonstrate to scouts that Phillip Dorsett might be more than capable of handling slot receiver chores at the next level. One of the fastest players in college, his size is his lone setback in an attempt to mount a charge for a first or second round grade. Just the seventh player in school history to gain over 2,000 receiving yards during a career (2,087 on 116 catches), Dorsett pulled down 31 balls for 826 yards, leading the nation with a 26.6-yard average while scoring nine times in 2014.

With a 37-inch vertical jump and 4.35 speed, along with coming off a 2012 season that saw Dorsett pull in 58 balls for 842 yards and four scores, big things were expected from him in 2013. A mid-October knee injury vs. North Carolina wiped out the second half of the season, as he finished with 272 yards on 13 catches.

Fully recovered, the Santana Moss look-alike showed this season that he has more than enough speed to terrorize Atlantic Coast Conference cornerbacks. He has a small, but well-defined body with outstanding stop-and-go action, flashing tremendous quickness off the line, maintaining balance and body control in and out of his breaks. He excels at working back to the ball, showing fearlessness going up for the pass in traffic, as he is one of the best in the conference in tracking the ball in flight.

Dorsett has a lean frame with adequate muscle definition, but is stronger than he looks. He has room to add more bulk to his frame, but it could impact his best asset – timed speed. He demonstrates excellent athleticism for his position, as few opposing defenders can mirror him on deep routes due to his speed. He not only has the speed to threaten the deep secondary, but the body control, lateral quickness and change of direction agility to make the underneath catches.

Dorsett is a versatile receiver who can handle return duties in addition to taking some carries as a running back. He has no problem digesting the playbook and has no problem taking those plays from the chalkboard to the playing field. He has good eyes for locating the soft areas to settle in and shows good awareness for the comebacks.

The Hurricanes receiver has the ability to simply explode off the line, if he gets a clean release. His timing is affected just a bit when opponents get physical and try to jam and reroute him, as he has the moves to elude. You can see on film his ability to quickly gain advantage on the defender through the route’s progression.

Dorsett gives good effort working underneath, but still lacks the ability to run several routes. He will short arm when going for the ball over the middle or when facing the quarterback. He needs to be more consistent with his gather and lowering his weight to plant and burst after the short area catches. By staying at a lower pad level, he would be capable of generating the second gear needed to pull away from the pack. He runs posts and slants adequately and understands stems, sticks and gaining leverage, but when he runs into spots, he is easily taken down by the initial tackle.

Dorsett does a very nice job of catching the ball over either shoulder. He has the ability to extend and secure the ball working the sidelines and the extended toe tap to keep his feet in bounds. His body control allows him to get to the pass at its high point. He slides to secure the ball inside his body’s frame and makes proper adjustments running under the deep ball.

He will extend and pluck the ball when riding up on a defender and once he improved his hip flexibility, he showed better turning agility to get to the poorly thrown pass. While he will extend and catch the ball outside his frame, he has a lack of height and just adequate leaping ability (verified leap fails to translate to the field, as bigger defensive backs simply push off him or ride up on his body), he won’t win too many jump ball battles, especially since he will revert to short-arming the ball when going for it in a crowd.

Dorsett has good hands on deep routes, plucking outside his frame, but oh boy, those short-arm tendencies in traffic can frustrate a coach. When he lets the ball absorb into his chest, he is prone to easy drops, as he will also lose concentration when he hears the oncoming charge of a defender. His hands look much more relaxed when he can create space for himself and run under the ball than when he has to go for the ball in traffic.

The pass catcher has to be more active with his hands to defeat the press, as he has the functional strength to do so, but will struggle at times when a defender is able to lock on and disrupt his route progression. He will usually try to catch the ball with his hands in front and is a fluid runner once he secures the ball, but he has to learn how to use his body to prevent a costly fumble.

Dorsett knows that with his size, he is just going to pester and get in the way as a backfield blocker, lacking the bulk to sustain. He has a good angle concept blocking in the second level, but despite good running strength and an effective hand punch, he’s never going to pancake a linebacker.

Phillip Dorsett Scouting Combine measurables


5-10/185 (4.33 forty)
30 1/4-inch arm length
9 3/8-inch hands
13-reps
37-inch vertical jump
122-inch broad jump
6.70 3 cone drill
4.11 20 yard shuttle

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.

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