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Phillip Dorsett, the senior wide receiver from the Miami Hurricanes, enters the 2015 NFL draft after an up-and-down career at “The U.” In 2014, Dorsett managed 36 receptions for 871 yards and a career-high 10 TDs. His 24.2 YPC also marked a career best. In 2013, Dorsett missed five games due to a partially torn MCL and totaled only 13 catches for 272 yards and 2 TDs. As a sophomore in 2012, he had productive season with 58 catches, 848 yards and 4 TDs. In total, Dorsett started 30 games as a member of the Hurricanes with 121 career receptions, 2,132 yards and 17 TDs. He participated in the 2015 Senior Bowl. Physically, Dorsett is a “small” receiver prospect, checking in at 5’10” and 185 lbs. He doesn’t have the kind of build that will be able to hold up on the outside against physical, press coverage; His home will be in the slot in the NFL. Athletically, Dorsett has few peers in the 2015 draft class from a speed standpoint. He can flip the field in the blink of the eye; He can get up to full speed in a flash with coordinated, quick and fluid feet. He releases into his route like he was shot out of a cannon and is almost impossible to cover if not bumped or re-routed at the LOS. Dorsett possesses sound, reliable hands, displaying the ability to pluck the ball away from his frame with soft mitts. He’s not the kind of prospect who will be able to win consistently in contested or jump ball situations, but his speed, acceleration and natural separation ability will limit the number times that he’ll be placed in those challenges. Dorsett possesses very good balance and footwork into and out of his breaks, and when combined with his top-tier ability to accelerate in short areas, the result is consistent separation. He’s arguably the top deep threat in the class, showing the ability to eat up the defender’s cushion in a hurry and forcing them into chase mode. He sells the top of his routes well with head and shoulder fakes as well as effective jab steps, causing the defender to look lost in space. Once Dorsett gets by the corner, it’s lights out. He won’t bring much to the table in the run game, as he’s simply not imposing or powerful enough to be much more than trash in the way of the defender. He’s not a lazy run blocker; He simply lacks the natural strength. Dorsett will add value in the return game, as he has experience returning kicks for Miami.
BOTTOM LINE: Phillip Dorsett is a tailor-made prospect for the wide open NFL passing game. His initial burst, quickness and deadly straight-line speed will make it very difficult for corners to cover him if he’s not jammed or bumped at the LOS. His production at Miami is deceiving, as his numbers would be a whole lot better if there was more consistent quarterback play. Dorsett has the “juice” that tends to separate average NFL receivers from the very good to top-tier guys. His only issue moving forward is his size, as he needs to prove that the physical nature of the NFL won’t be too much for him to handle. He reminds me a lot of Antonio Brown (Steelers) with how naturally fast, quick and athletic he looks with the pads on, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he sneaks into the later portion of first round.
GRADE: 7.9 (High-2nd)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)