Philadelphia Eagles Taking Phillip Dorsett at 20 Would be a Stretch


Though many, myself included, don’t expect Chip Kelly to spend his first-round pick on an offensive skill-position player, Scott Bischoff of suggests that one blazing-fast receiver could be a target for the Philadelphia Eagles at the 20th pick.

Need an idea of the type of speed that Dorsett has? This tidbit from Fox Sports is quite interesting.

"Dorsett’s two runs were hand-clocked by scouts at 4.25 and 4.27 seconds, which were slightly better marks than his official NFL Scouting Combine finish of 4.33 seconds. That computerized time from February earned Dorsett a $100,000 bonus from Adidas as being one of the combine’s three fastest athletes who had a signed endorsement deal with the company (Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes and West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White were the other two)."

Given my track background, I know that the computerized time of 4.33 is actually the best of the three times. The hand times don’t account for human error like the FAT (Fully Automatic) system does. So the computerized time, had it been taken by hand, would actually be around a 4.18 (!!). But the system adds .15 onto times to account for human error. So the hand times of 4.25 and 4.27, had they been done at the combine, would have been more like 4.40 and 4.42, respectively. In other words, they are still impressive, but not in the same sense that the combine number was.

Dorsett never had over 1,000 receiving yards in three college seasons, but had over 800 in both of his final two seasons. The 10 touchdowns that he posted also have helped him to make himself such an attractive option to teams in this week’s draft.

There is a seeming mixed bag on where Dorsett should be taken. Outlets such as Walter Football and Draft Insider suggest that he could be a late first-round pick. Even Todd McShay of ESPN has him in the first-round, but his colleague Mel Kiper Jr. has him falling to the early second-round. Some boards, including Kiper’s, have USC’s Nelson Agholor rated higher than Dorsett, while sites like Walter Football give the player with a “Mike Wallace type skill-set” a higher ranking on their boards.

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Overall, it comes down to what the Eagles desire to obtain by taking a receiver. If they want size, then the 5’9″ Dorsett doesn’t fit the bill. Then again, at 6’0″, someone like Nelson Agholor isn’t going to be dominant based off of his size, and won’t provide the ability to stretch the defense that Dorsett is projected to. (But Agholor is more polished in running-routes, so there are positives to both.)

Either way, Chip Kelly and Ed Marynowitz need to be wary of how the draft-board unfolds in front of them. Last year, both Jordan Matthews and Marqise Lee were projected to go in the mid-20s, but ended up being available in the early second-round. Kelly reportedly wanted to take Matthews with the 26th pick, but elected not to under the guidance of then-General Manager Howie Roseman. Matthews was eventually taken in the second-round, but the team’s first-round pick, Marcus Smith, didn’t record a single tackle in his rookie season. Without Roseman, it will be interesting to see if Kelly has a grasp of the true value of a player like Dorsett, or just takes him with the 20th pick because that’s who he covets.

If any of Amari Cooper, Kevin White or DeVante Parker experiences a significant drop, taking Dorsett with the 20th pick would be a reach, even if the Eagles feel his talent is worth the pick. Even if none of them fall, certain teams covet Agholor, Breshard Perriman, Jaelen Strong and Devin Funchess over Dorsett. So it seems safe to assume that if the Eagles want Dorsett, they could trade back in the first-round (at least) and still take him. And should someone overvalue him and take him before the Eagles can, the previously mentioned receivers highlight some of the names that will still be available in a deep class at the position.

The feeling here is that the 20th pick would probably be too early to take the Miami standout.

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