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Phillip Dorsett could speed into the 2015 fantasy mix

Leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, each day NFL Fantasy will profile a prospect who could make a splash in fantasy next season. Today's subject is former Miami (Fla.) wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.

Coveting speed is not just an Al Davis trait. Case in point, plenty of scouts and GMs are currently salivating over the natural speed of Miami's Phillip Dorsett, a small receiver (5-foot-10) who is likely the fastest of this year's draft class. Speedy wide receivers have popped up frequently in this series, with varying results. So on which end of the spectrum will Dorsett fall -- fantasy sleeper, or developmental prospect? I went to the tape to find out.


     » Holy (expletive) speed
     » Plays bigger than his size
     » Competent route runner
     » Dangerous from slot or outside

Dorsett's best attribute, and the one that pops on tape the most, is his undeniable speed. Whether he's blowing the top off of the defense, or out-running everybody after hauling in a crossing route, Dorsett can fly. He's incredibly dangerous if he catches the ball in stride, as once he's at or near his top gear there wasn't a person on the field that could catch him. There were times where it looked like he was running against junior high school players, and not juniors and seniors in college.

I admired Dorsett's commitment in both the run game and after the catch to being physical. He isn't going to pancake anyone with a block, but he would get his nose in there and hold his ground. Likewise, despite his smaller frame he didn't necessarily shy away from contact in his routes or after the catch, which will be a good trait to have once he hits the NFL.


     » Trouble holding onto contested catches
     » Lacks shiftiness in the open field
     » Needs to polish finer points of game
     » Improve awareness on special teams

Dorsett was pretty great at going up and contesting catches, usually getting his hands on the ball. Unfortunately, there were several instances where he dropped the pass upon hitting the ground, or later had it knocked away. He'll need to work on that security to truly thrive as an NFL receiver. This is one of the finer points I mentioned above, along with his route running. While Dorsett did show competence in a variety of routes, he'll benefit from time with NFL coaches and coordinators to really hone in on the subtlties of the position.

Dorsett averaged 24.2 yards per reception last season, and 19.5 yards per return over his career at Miami, but those numbers mostly come from speed alone and not shiftiness. Dorsett could be electric as a punt returner at the NFL level as well, but he'll need to work on his situational awareness, as there were a couple of gaffes that popped up while watching his return tape from Miami.

Ideal NFL fantasy fits

     » Baltimore Ravens
     » Carolina Panthers
     » Chicago Bears

I hate to keep matching pure speedsters with Joe Flacco, but with Flacco's cannon arm and Dorsett's speed beautiful fantasy music could be made. Dorsett could be an excellent role player for the Panthers, with Kelvin Benjamin as the true No. 1 wideout commanding more double teams. Chicago could stand to add another body at wide receiver, and Dorsett would allow them to have a fantastic deep threat and slot-man understudy to the recently signed Eddie Royal.

Early fantasy draft projection

I really like Dorsett's prospects of turning into a dynamic NFL wide receiver, but like so many of his fellow NFL draft hopefuls, his immediate fantasy impact will ultimately depend on where he lands. I pray to the fantasy gods he doesn't end up somewhere like Kansas City, where I fear his speed and potential would be limited. Keep an eye on Dorsett and his future NFL home, and draft accordingly this fall.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar

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