Phillip Dorsett is an interesting pick for the Colts because he reminds a lot of analysts of T.Y. Hilton, another speedy receiver out of a Florida school who's already a major part of Indianapolis's roster. But you apparently can't have too many speed receivers when you have a quarterback like Andrew Luck with great vertical throwing ability, and Dorsett is a pure burner. He ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, and he's just as fast on the field, especially in a straight line.
Dorsett is not terribly strong at 5'10" and 185 pounds, and he'll go through stretches of dropped passes, but with Andre Johnson and Hilton already on the roster, the Colts are clearly looking to stretch the field in a major way, making life very difficult for enemy defenses.
Strengths: Start with the obvious, which is that Dorsett can go the distance any time he touches the football. Uses his exceptional speed to blow past secondaries and catches most balls thrown his direction. That said, he’s not just a one-note player. Depending on the creativity of his new coordinator, Dorsett could thrive in a variety of ways—out of the slot, split wide, even lined up in the backfield. Puts defenders on his outside hip to find space cutting across the middle, then pulls away with the ball in his hands. Takes hard routes in traffic and fights for the football. Confidence shows when he’s on the field. Not averse to blocking. Past work as a punt returner should give him a path to early NFL contribution.
Weaknesses: On the smaller side (5'10", 185 pounds) and has that knee injury on his resume, so questions about durability will follow him into the league, but his knee has shown no ill-effects of the 2013 issue. Size, on the other hand, can hold him back when defenders are able to pressure him with contact. Scheme may have to keep Dorsett out of those tricky, press-coverage spots by motioning him. Would be encouraging to see him shake a few more tacklers with the ball in his hands, so he doesn’t have to run away from everyone. Had seven carries at Miami for a total of minus-two yards—his big-play success lends itself to a handoff here or there, but there are no proven results to fall back on for examples. Route-running’s a work in progress.
Player Comparison: Ted Ginn Jr.
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