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Miami Hurricanes Football 2015 NFL Draft Profile: Phillip Dorsett

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In this new series, we take a look at UM's draft eligible players and provide insight on what type of players they will be at next level, where they might be drafted, and more.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Stats - 36 catches for 871 yards (led D1 with 24.2 YPC), 10 TDs.

A lot of eyes opened this past spring when Phillip Dorsett allegedly ran a school record 4.21 40 during UM's spring practices.

If he duplicates that effort this week in Indianapolis he he's got a shot at beating Chris Johnson's all-time NFL combine record of 4.24.

Dorsett will get his chance, this Saturday, 2/24 ( The NFL Network will be carrying all of the activities for those interested in watching).

According to ESPN's draft guru, Mel Kiper,  Dorsett is already a 1st round talent ahead of the combine.

For those keeping count, UM has not had a player selected in the first round of the draft, since Kenny Phillips, way back in 2008.

So what makes PD such a special player?

Let's break it down and look at where he might end up come 4/30 (or 5/1 if he lasts that long).

Strengths:

#1 Pure Speed - Is he 4.21 fast, or were the clocks in Coral Gables a little twitchy?  We'll find out soon enough. But whether he runs in the 4.2 or 4.3 range shouldn't matter.  Dorsett is clearly a burner, and more importantly he is not just track fast, he's game fast. His kind of speed is rare, even on Sundays.

#2 Hands -  Early is his career this was not the case at all.  UM fans certainly remember two costly drops back at Soldier Field Vs Notre Dame back in 2012.  But this past season I can not remember a single drop by Dorsett. He also made quite few difficult catches this past season.

#3 Instincts/Awareness -  One of the more underrated aspects to Dorsett's Senior season was how well he worked with freshman QB Brad Kaaya.  It wasn't all 9 routes down the field and going and getting the ball.  On several occasions, PD broke off routes early to give his precocious QB a hot route/quick target. Dorsett has clearly honed his understanding of the game during his stay on Coral Gables.

Weaknesses:

#1 Size - Dorsett is listed at 5'10 185.  Very few players this small can withstand the beatings that NFL safeties deliver in the middle of the field.  PD seems to think he can overcome it,

"I know I am a smaller guy, but I can do a lot of things from route running to catching the ball over the middle to stretching the field"  Dorsett told NFL Network.

Despite his confidence, it has to concern scouts looking for a more complete player and not just a burner.  Additionally at the next level his size will work against him versus press coverage.

#2 Change of direction- During Senior Bowl practices I was surprised to hear that Dorsett excelled in this area. So perhaps he has the ability but just did not display it much at Miami. Most of his play making at UM was due to his brilliant straight line speed/start and stop abilities.  I can nor recall many times he made many distinctive football moves over 4 years for the 'Canes.

#3 Route running -  Is this something Dorsett can improve?  Did he simply not show the ability to run a variety of routes because of how he was utilized at Miami? Both very good questions.  For now this is a weakness. He will get a chance to prove otherwise in Indy as well as during work outs over the next couple of months. If PD is going to be a first round pick he will need to show he is versatile as well as fast.

WildcardSpecial teams. Dorsett never took a kick or punt to the house (he did have one called back in 2013) in 50 career punt/kickoff returns with the Hurricanes.   They did not use him regularly in this capacity, nonetheless it is surprising he did not take any back.   Look for whichever NFL team drafts him to give him a long, long look as a returner.

NFL Players he most resembles:   DeSean Jackson, Brandin Cooks, Emmanuel Sanders, Ted Ginn.

Draft Projection: 2nd round, 48th overall,  Kansas City Chiefs.   KC needs a speedster to line up opposite Dwayne Bowe.  Though I could also see New England take a crack at him 31st overall to give Tom Brady another weapon.

Stay tuned for many more updates as Miami's 2015 NFL Draft eligible players prepare to hear their names called at Radio City.