As the NFL world spends this week looking toward this year's NFL Draft, the Colts also aren't forgetting the players they added in last year's draft. That group includes first round wide receiver, who the Colts selected with the 29th overall pick to the surprise of many.
Dorsett didn't have a huge impact in his rookie year (thanks in large part due to injury), but Colts general manager Ryan Grigson doesn't seem to have lost any confidence in the talented young receiver.
"I think Phillip is stupendous," Grigson said on Thursday from the NFL Combine. "I think our coaches feel he's stupendous. I think something that gets forgotten is that he got hurt so there's nothing we can do about that. But if not for Phillip Dorsett, it's a good chance we go 0-3. In that Tennessee game he makes an unbelievable catch in the end zone, in a critical (situation). I think it was maybe even fourth down. He can play, he can get open, but I think our coaches would all echo about Phillip Dorsett is he came in as a pro. He did not have one ounce that would ooze from him that would speak to rookie.
"Those are the guys that we're looking for and the types of players. Clayton Geathers, Dorsett, Denzelle Good, Henry Anderson, David Parry - guys that come from that mold. The guys that the film, when you watch it, they're productive on darn near every tape. They also have a love for the game but they have an aptitude as well. We're trying to get guys with those characteristics. You check off those boxes and you hit more times than you miss."
The play that Grigson mentioned was without a doubt Dorsett's biggest of the year, as without it there was indeed a real chance of the Colts going 0-3 to start the season. They were 0-2 and entered the fourth quarter of week three trailing 27-14 on the road against the Titans. Andrew Luck then led the Colts on a 98-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter to start the comeback, and it was capped by a 35-yard scoring toss to Phillip Dorsett on 3rd and 20. The Colts wound up scoring two more touchdowns after that and won 35-33.
Other than that, however, Dorsett's rookie season didn't have a ton of highlights. In week seven, Dorsett suffered a fractured fibula that caused him to miss the next five games, taking out a chunk of time right in the middle of the season. He returned to play in the final four, and in week 17 he factored into the offense more than he had at any other time (catching four passes and being targeted nine times, both season highs). Overall, Dorsett played in 11 games and caught 18 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown, averaging 12.5 yards per reception. He also rushed three times for 17 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
Moving forward, however, Dorsett figures to be a much bigger part of the offense. The Colts are expected to release Andre Johnson, which would pave the way for T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Dorsett to be the team's top three wideouts - a trio of young, athletic, and talented receivers for Andrew Luck to throw to. Though his rookie season didn't go like many had hoped, expectations are still high for Phillip Dorsett heading into 2016, where he very well could see a significantly increased role.