Scouting Report: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
Phillip Dorsett is a name to know for fantasy footballers. He has a skill set that reminds us of Emmanuel Sanders, T.Y. Hilton and John Brown. Dorsett, though not obscure, is not a household name either as U Miami has been mediocre of late. The one thing we know Dorsett can do is hit the big play. This guy can fly on film and he showed off serious wheels at the combine and at the Senior Bowl. And, with 14 touchdowns over the last two seasons, you’ll see plenty of big plays on film. Dorsett is a confident kid. That confidence comes across on the field and in interviews. He’s also loyal—often defending his coaching staff and teammates to the media. He has the appearance of a solid likable teammate. He said all the right things at the combine and indicated that he’s working on a lot more than just being fast. “Showing I can run the routes consistently, slowing it down, getting in and out of my cuts faster.” He has the look and feel of a prospect who will continue to expand his game.
Dorsett also said that he cares about his blocking and that he’s “willing to stick my face in in the fan” for the team. His film tells the same story.
- Height - 5’10”
- Weight - 185
- Hand - 9 3/8”
- 40 - 4.33
- 3-Cone - 6.70
- Bench - 13 reps
- Vertical Jump - 37”
- Broad Jump - 10’2”
- 20 Yd Shuttle - 4.11
The numbers are impressive overall and his weight was actually a pleasant surprise at 185. He’s got decent sized hands for a small receiver and he showed explosiveness in both the broad and vertical jumps to go with the speed we all knew we’d see. The three cone time was also as anticipated. It was a good combine for Dorsett.
- Speed - It kills and Dorsett has it in abundance. This guy would add an element to all but a few NFL teams. And, this guy has pure speed. He runs with a calm natural gait—totally under control.
- Explosiveness - More than just fast, Dorsett can get off the ground and play a little bigger than your typical 5’10” 185 pound receiver. He’s not Brandin Cooks nor Odell Beckham, but he’ll help out his QB at times by outplaying the corner while the ball is in the air.
- Versatility - Some will try and pigeon-hole Dorsett as a slot guy, but we feel he can play inside and outside.
- Aggressiveness - He plays like a confident athlete—getting after the ball and attacking in most contested situations. That’s important for smaller receivers, who cannot afford to play the ball passively.
- Routes - He’s still evolving here but you can see his potential when he sets guys up correctly. With his natural advantage of high-end speed, he’s got all the ability you need to keep getting better. His post route in particular is fun to watch but not much fun to defend.
- Defeating the jam - Like most young receivers, Dorsett will need to master his technique against press coverage, but he’s got the athletic ability to do it. You won’t see much press against him when watching his college film due to his speed. He’s got a great natural release off the line.
- Blocking - Dorsett is willing if not eager to block for teammates, but he often gets pushed around. He has good upper body strength for a guy his size, so there’s some hope he’ll improve some with refined technique, but who’s kidding who, this kid is not living or dying with his blocking.
- Production - He got better every year and he still has room for improvement. Ten scores in 2014 is obviously an attention-getter.
Guys with pure speed like Dorsett do not grow on trees. You get one every year or so, and we doubt that the NFL will let him get out of round two. Most likely, he’ll be a high second round selection because teams know what they’ll be getting.
For fantasy footballers, it’s a little more complex, because a deep threat is not an important part of a fantasy team. You don’t take the top off of a fantasy defense. The question is, can Dorsett produce enough volume as a receiver? Can his game evolve a bit in terms of routes? Can he stay healthy? I’d expect some nicks and bruises as small receivers usually miss some time here and there, but I think his upside merits targeting him in rookie drafts despite his lack of prototypical size. As for the routes, while he ran a limited route tree at Miami, we think he has the ability to run whole tree at the next level. Though a typical growth curve is to be expected, we see Dorsett becoming a complete receiver in time, and not just a deep ball threat.
As I said earlier, There are three players I thought of when I scouted Dorsett.
- John Brown
- T.Y. Hilton
- Emmanuel Sanders
Not bad company, right? And, I think this group points out some key points to make about this prospect. Location matters. Hilton landed with Andrew Luck and on a roster in need of playmaking ability. Sanders played in Pittsburgh until recently, with a lot of other talented receivers and it took time. Once he landed a prime gig in Denver, we saw high-end results.
While it might be tempting to get excited about Dorsett when you look at those comparisons, don’t forget about reality. Dorsett may not end up with Peyton Manning, Big Ben or Andrew Luck. He may not even end up with Carson Palmer as John Brown did.
The important takeaway with Dorsett is that he’s potentially a valuable fantasy player. I’ll give you a more exact idea on how valuable and on how quickly he may take off, after the draft. If he goes to the Jets, that’s bad. If he goes to the Eagles, he could be a fantasy option right away and pay early dividends for those in deeper and dynasty formats.
More 2015 Scouting Reports:
- Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
- Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
- Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
- Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
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