Sep 1, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (4) runs the ball against the Louisville Cardinals during the second quarter of play at Papa John
The Cleveland Browns season is over. We will spend a good amount of time reviewing the season but we will spend even more time preparing for the off-season. Browns 2015 NFL Draft seems ready to be a very interesting one for the team. With 10 picks, including two in the first round, the Browns are ready to make noise again for the second year in a row.
Instead the 2014 started off strong and ended with a thud. Last year the Browns draft included a big trade down and the drafting of Johnny Manziel. While the first round hasn’t panned out yet, the rest of the draft seems to be great. It is likely that GM Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine see a greater need for more veteran talent on a very young roster and we expect them to be aggressive in seeking to bring in that talent during Browns free agency.
After free agency we wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns tried to trade their picks to move up, to get another veteran or went with best player available instead of drafting for need. Farmer did this last year when he drafted Joel Bitonio, Terrance West, Christian Kirksey and others instead of drafting a wide receiver. We could see that again.
In preparation for such we will be taking a look at certain players that we think the Browns could target. Keep in mind we are not saying that these are players they are targeting, although some rumors may start to leak of the Browns having interest in them, instead these are players that we think the Browns could or should have interest in. Our profile will try to include as much information as possible to prepare you for the NFL Draft.
5’10”, 185 pounds
University of Miami
2014 – 13 games; 36 receptions for 871 yards and 10 touchdowns.
2015 NFL Draft Range
2nd Round – Dorsett was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2014 after seeing 10 of his 36 catches go for touchdowns. He also had at least one catch of 35-plus yards in seven games last season and averaged an impressive 24.2 yards per reception.
An exceptionally fast receiver, he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and a 4.25 at his pro day, Dorsett has the explosive ability that is lacking in the current group of Browns receivers. According to his draft profile at NFL.com, Dorsett “gets to top speed quickly and is a seamless glider on crossing routes, leaving man-to-man defenses in his wake, (and is a receiver that) can work outside and from the slot. (He) elevates and attacks contested catches (with) outstanding body control and can adjust to the ball in mid-air. More than just a vertical-only receiver and has the blazing feet and stop-start to beat zone coverage for big plays.”
As solid as Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins are, none of them have the ability to turn a short catch into a long gain or a touchdown. Adding a receiver that has the potential to help the offense turn in the occasional two- or three-play scoring drive would be a huge bonus.
Fit with the Browns
The concern with Dorsett is that he is still raw and missed five games in 2013 after suffering a partial tear of his MCL, so he will still need time to develop.
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And on a team that already boasts several wide receivers under six-feet-tall, adding another small target like Dorsett may not appeal to Farmer on draft day.
But Dorsett wouldn’t be coming to Cleveland as a No. 1 receiver, and he can put pressure on opposing defenses, especially in yards after the catch from the slot position.
While Farmer has stated on several occasions that he does not see the wide receiver position as one deserving of a first-round pick, in a deep wide receiver class a player like Dorsett could be attractive in the second round.
Browns Player Selection Could Impact
With Josh Gordon not catching balls for the Browns next season, the Browns receiving corps needs all the help it can get. With Hawkins, Miles Austin, Taylor Gabriel and Travis Benjamin combining for an abysmal 8 touchdowns for the regular season, it is blatantly obvious the receiving corps needs an injection of fresh blood.
With a new quarterback in Josh McCown, Dorsett could play a crucial role in the development of the new Browns offense as another option in the slot position. After some work (and perhaps some mentoring from Hawkins) Dorsett could be a solid piece of the Browns offensive scheme.
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How Selection Could Be Impacted By Free Agency
Even with the additions of Bowe and Hartline in free agency, and Hawkins entering his second season with the club, the Browns can still use help at the wide receiver position — just most likely not in the first round.
High-Medium – The Browns have traditionally been a running team and Head Coach Mike Pettine wants to keep it that way. With the quarterback situation still … unsettled … having a solidified receiving corps could go a long way in alleviating the Browns offensive woes come the fall. The signings veterans Bowe and Hartline were a good first step in establishing the receiving corps. The addition of the speedy Dorsett could help turn a solid group into one that can make something happen on Sunday afternoons.
What do you think about targeting Phillip Dorsett in the 2015 NFL Draft?