WATCH: Why Greg Dortch is building a strong case to make Jets' roster
Every summer there is always a player or two who seems to rise from relative obscurity during training camp, putting themselves in position to make an NFL roster.
This summer, wide receiver Greg Dortch is poised to become one of those players for the New York Jets.
As the 2019 NFL Draft came to a close, the 5-foot-7, 173-pound speedster was without a team, and thrust into a vast pool of undrafted free agents. Following a short, but productive college career in which he accumulated 142 catches for 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns over his first two seasons at Wake Forest, he opted enter the draft.
He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but did not participate in any drills. After carefully weighing his options after the draft, Dortch decided to sign with the Jets as an undrafted free agent.
Though he's considered to be a raw talent at wide receiver, Dortch wasted little time asserting himself as a consistent downfield threat during the early stages of training camp. What the 21-year-old lacks in size, he more than makes up for with his unprecedented quickness and burst. The diminutive wideout is at his best when operating out of the slot, where his quick-twitch route running and lateral agility enables him to generate yards after the catch.
An All-American punt returner in 2018, Dortch has become the team's top option for replacing the recently departed Andre Roberts. He finished his sophomore season ranked sixth in the FBS with 276 yards and two touchdowns. Dortch used his training camp momentum as a launching pad into what has been an impressive start to his preseason.
In two games, the undrafted rookie has managed to compile four catches for 20 yards, a touchdown, and a 32-yard punt return.
The most realistic way for an undrafted rookie to earn a spot on a 53-man roster is by contributing on special teams -- where Dortch currently finds himself in good standing. While Roberts finished the 2018 season ranked second in the NFL in punt return yardage (324), Dortch has the potential to exceed that production in 2019. His suddenness, vision and burst should make him a legitimate threat to score every time he fields the ball.
Beyond his special teams duties, Dortch will serve as the primary backup to starting slot receiver Jamison Crowder. If he's able to carry his momentum over the next two weeks, the rapidly ascending wideout could become a crucial piece to the puzzle in 2019.