5 things to know about new Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 26:  Phillip Dorsett #15 of the Indianapolis Colts pulls in a pass against Ross Cockrell #31 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during a preseason game on August 26, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Phillip Dorsett pulls in a pass against Ross Cockrell during a preseason game on August 26, 2017 at Heinz Field. –Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Less than 48 hours after his impressive start against the Giants in the Patriots’ preseason finale on Thursday, quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been traded to the Indianapolis Colts. New England will acquire wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in exchange for the third-string quarterback.

A first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Dorsett played his first two seasons in Indy and caught 51 receptions for 753 yards during that time period.

Here are five things to know about the 24-year-old:

His college career was highlighted by a stellar senior season. 

Dorsett played four seasons of football at the University of Miami and earned second-team All-ACC honors as a senior for his strong performance downfield. In 2014, he averaged 24.2 yards per reception and totaled 871 yards. Not to mention 10 of his 36 catches were touchdowns.

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His time as an underclassman also featured some solid offensive production. As a sophomore, he led the team in receptions (58), receiving yards (842), and touchdowns (4). Against NC State in 2012, Dorsett caught a game-winning 62-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in the contest—one of four games he recorded 100-plus yards that season.

Of note: He missed the final five games of his junior season due to a partially torn MCL. Before going down with the injury, Dorsett was the team leader in average yards per catch.

He’s got speed.

At the 2015 NFL Combine, the Florida native recorded the second-fastest 40-yard dash in his position group. Dorsett’s official time of 4.33 seconds matched fellow New England wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Scouts hand-clocked his finish, however, at 4.25 and 4.27 seconds.

According to his NFL Draft profile, Dorsett’s strengths included “elite explosiveness,” an ability to reach “top speed quickly,” and “blazing feet.”

Dorsett was also a member of the track & field team at Miami. His 60-meter sprint time of 6.80 seconds is the fourth-fastest in school history.

“I ran track my whole life, but I wasn’t a sprinter until junior and senior year of high school,” the multi-sport athlete told Stack.com. “A lot of my speed comes naturally, but I wasn’t as fast as I am until I really worked at it … Pulling sleds, wearing weighted vests, things like that, a lot of weightlifting … That’s when I really got fast.”

He can also throw a pass.

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Like a few of his Patriots counterparts, including injured Julian Edelman, Dorsett has quite the arm. He went 3-for-3 while in college and even threw a touchdown.

Given Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s affinity for trick plays, it’s possible the 24-year-old will get another opportunity to facilitate offense as a passer.

His former teammates were reportedly not happy with the decision to draft him.

Indianapolis selected Dorsett using the 29th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft…

…but league sources reported that some Colts were not pleased with the organization’s choice. According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, players would have rather seen the team add a offensive or defensive tackle, or a safety.

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Jim Irsay’s squad notably passed up on current Patriots defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who was selected by New England three picks later. Other wide receivers drafted before Dorsett include Amari Cooper by the Oakland Raiders, Kevin White by the Chicago Bears, DeVante Parker by the Miami Dolphins, Nelson Agholor by the Philadelphia Eagles, and Breshad Perriman by the Baltimore Ravens.

Though he has great potential, his two seasons with the Colts were somewhat underwhelming.

Despite teasing tremendous promise, Dorsett’s first two years in the NFL were a bit of a disappointment. So much so that there were rumors that he could potentially be cut after training camp this year.

He’s struggled to maximize his talent, ranking sixth on the Colts in receptions and yards after the catch last season. Through 13 games, he dropped a team-high 5.8% of passes, which was the 27th worst rate in the league, and had caught only one touchdowns, which was in busted coverage.

After spending the majority of his time behind T.Y. Hilton and Dante Moncrief on the receiver depth chart, Dorsett approached the upcoming campaign with a positive attitude.

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“I feel like I’ve been improving every day,” he told the Indy Star in August.

Back in January, Indianapolis’ wide receivers coach Lee Hull said he was also confident with the direction Dorsett was moving in.

“You see that he has good hands. He has caught some difficult balls,” Hull told Colts.com. “It’s not about catching the ball. It’s about becoming a complete receiver, as far as route running is concerned and all the little details, getting in and out of your break. We want him to be a complete receiver.”

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