There is a lot of pressure on Phillip Dorsett to perform well in 2016 after a poor rookie season.
Whether it was fair or not, everyone had high expectations for Dorsett once the Indianapolis Colts selected him 29th overall in 2015 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Dorsett failed to meet those daunting expectations.
Dorsett’s rookie season was marred by inconsistency and injuries. He missed five regular season games and never really found his place in the Colts’ offense. He only recorded 18 receptions for 225 receiving yards and one touchdown. He also struggled to contribute on special teams. The Colts took away his punt returning duties after he muffed two punt returns in their first game against the Buffalo Bills.
Coming out of the University of Miami, Phillip Dorsett was purely known as a speed receiver. In his final season, he accumulated 36 receptions for 871 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. His big play ability caught the eye of general manager Ryan Grigson, and convinced that he was worth a first round pick. Unfortunately, Dorsett has had trouble establishing himself in the Colts’ wide receiver rotation.
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Phillip Dorsett was buried on the Colts’ depth chart in 2015. Receivers T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Andre Johnson and Griff Whalen all played more often than he did. This result was totally unexpected because many predicted Dorsett would eventually become the Colts’ No. 3 receiver in 2015. Obviously, that prediction never came to fruition.
As the Colts are looking forward to 2016, Phillip Dorsett has a huge opportunity to earn a lot of playing time. This offseason, the Colts released Andre Johnson, and Griff Whalen left the team to join the Miami Dolphins. As a result, Dorsett is once again expected to be their No. 3 receiver. He needs to make the most of this opportunity in 2016.
The Colts need Dorsett to make a big impact this season because opposing defenses will be primarily focused on covering Hilton and Moncrief. By doing this, Dorsett will be left in one-on-one coverage situations a lot. He needs to take advantage of these opportunities. If Dorsett does this, he is going to have a solid 2016 season. If he struggles again, the Colts could be ready to move on from him.
Although it will only be his second year as a professional, the 2016 season is an important one for Phillip Dorsett. There is already a lot of chatter that he is a first round bust. A solid sophomore season could temporarily silence that criticism while a lackluster season will only make things more problematic for him. Dorsett has the physical tools to succeed, but only time will tell if he can translate these skills into a successful 2016 campaign.