Dynasty Draft Profile: Phillip Dorsett
May 1, 2015 | Rich Hribar
|21.9||70||185||30 1/4||9 3/8|
*MSYD = % of Team Receiving Yardage
Phillip Dorsett is every bit the speeding bullet he’s labeled as, but we really want to know if there’s more to him than that. Through three and a half college seasons (he had a partially torn MCL in 2013), he never crossed the 30 percent market share yardage threshold I look for in production from a receiver and he’s never even posted a big raw yardage season. Outside of his double digit touchdown production as a senior, there’s really not a lot on his production resume to hang a hat on.
In 2014, Dorsett led the Hurricanes with 19.1 percent of the team targets (71 total) and was 7th in the country in yards per target (12.3 yards) of all players with 50 or more targets. He was first in yards per reception of the same group with a gaudy 24.2 yards per catch. Like Sammie Coates who was covered earlier in the week, because he had so many vertical targets his 50.7 percent catch rate ranked just 258th out of 284 receivers with 50 or more targets. Those types of low success targets came out in his reception production for his career as he had more than four receptions in just seven of his 41 games played. It also showed up in his touchdown production as nine of his 17 career scores came from 40 yards or longer with just three coming inside the red zone.
His production fits his physical profile, but that’s not entirely a death knell to him being successful because he has a lot of attributes that can aid a receiver of his size. At the combine, Dorsett ran the second fastest raw 40-yard dash time behind J.J. Nelson and had the third best combined agility score (three cone plus short shuttle) behind Amari Cooper (10.69) and Mario Alford (10.71). His raw speed and agility packaged in a compact size to go along with his final season production give us this set of raw comparables.
|John Brown||Pittsburgh State||2014||91||23.7||70||179||4.34||36.5||119||4.12||6.91||5.1||99.8||1.2|
|Phillip Dorsett||Miami (Fla.)||2015||TBD||21.9||70||185||4.33||37||122||4.11||6.7||3||72.6||0.8|
It’s not a surprising set of comps as all of these receivers have lived off of home run production. I believe this trio also kind of sets the stages up as a ceiling, middle and floor set of comps for Dorsett. DeSean Jackson is the high end comp and he has the most touchdown receptions of 35 yards or longer (22) in the NFL since entering the league. John Brown and Jarius Wright have also scored five of their 12 combined scores from such distances or longer. If you want a guy to go out and blow the lid off of coverage, Dorsett fits the mold to a tee.
The main difference between Dorsett and a high end comp like Jackson is you really don’t see that elite agility that Dorsett showed in drills at the combine in his game with the football, something Jackson has as an added bonus to his raw speed. Jackson was used in the running game early in his career and was one of the league’s best punt returners over his first three seasons in the league. Dorsett’s agility shows up in double moves and breaks in routes rather than in elusiveness with the football. Almost all of his yards after the catch are created by his pure speed rather than anything else. That’s not a major knock on him, but that lack of elusiveness showed up when he was given opportunities to contribute on special teams as well. He was never an impact factor in the return game like you’d expect a player with his profile to be, averaging just 19.5 yards on 23 kickoff returns and 4.9 yards on 16 punt returns over his collegiate career. You can see where Dorsett uses his agility to win in routes and his speed after the catch.
Dorsett shows signs of being a craftsman in routes, although not to the level of an Antonio Brown, who he’s sometimes bracketed in with in comparisons. He’s really not even in Tyler Lockett’s class of route running yet from a smaller framed player. The one thing Dorsett has over a player like Lockett though to go along with some minor nuance that may manifest into more down the line is he displays a fearlessness that can aid him contributing on a larger scale than strictly running straight and fast.
Admittedly, I don’t gravitate to receivers in the mold of Dorsett, which is why I also wanted to cover him and give him a fair shake down. He has a little more filling in his fantasy center to help him overcome being a one trick pony in the NFL but those traits will need more growth as well as real opportunity in avoiding being type cast in a system right away. I also get the sense that he’s overvalued in NFL terms and the league has largely missed on players of his type recently when you look at Paul Richardson, Tavon Austin, Marquise Goodwin, and Titus Young all being top 80 selections in drafts since 2010. I do prefer Lockett himself to Dorsett in a vacuum based on Lockett’s overall versatility and consistent high end production if we’re talking a player of this ilk. I see Dorsett on the outside of the top 12 receivers in this class and one to target only if he slips to the mid- third round of rookie drafts.
In what was possibly the most shocking and perhaps heads scratching pick of the first round, the Colts selected Dorsett at pick 29. Factoring in that this is the final season of T.Y. Hilton’s rookie contract and with the impending contract extension that will going to Andrew Luck, things make a little more sense as Indy could be covering themselves with a vertical weapon in case they are priced out on Hilton. Dorsett will need that to happen to gain significant fantasy relevance as he lands in a muddy situation immediately with the crowded Colts receiving corps that just selected Donte Moncrief a season ago and added Andre Johnson and Duron Carter this offseason. He will likely begin his career as a niche player, but still is a play away from having a larger role in attachment to one of the best dynasty quarterbacks. Because he needs a few dominoes to fall his way to reach his apex opportunity, Dorsett will remain in that second round turn crowd, but could prove to be an impact selection at that spot if those dominoes do fall properly.
Early 2015 Projection: 54.9 TGT/30.7 REC/457.7 YDS/2.5 TD