Huard: ‘A little apprehension’ about Seahawks signing Phillip Dorsett
The Seahawks appeared to ink their third receiver last week when Phillip Dorsett and the team agreed to a one-year deal.
Dorsett, 27, is a former first-round pick who has elite speed, running a 4.33 40-yard dash time during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. He will look to give Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson another downfield threat, and Dorsett told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy that catching deep balls from Wilson, arguably the best downfield passer in the NFL, was a big part of why he chose to sign with Seattle.
While it appears Dorsett would be a good fit for the Seahawks’ offense due to his speed and ability to get downfield, not everyone is quite sold on the signing, including former NFL quarterback Brock Huard.
“I have a little apprehension for a player who’s had Andrew Luck (with the Indianapolis Colts for two seasons) and Tom Brady (with the New England Patriots for three seasons) in his career, right?” Huard said to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant Monday morning. “Who was a first-round pick and had Andrew Luck and then Tom Brady in his career and if you play the receiver position, you’d think those would be two guys you would want (passing you the ball) and two systems you would want to play in to really watch you flourish and grow.”
Dorsett hasn’t lived up to his status as a first-round pick as his career-high in receiving yards is 528 which he recorded in 2016 and he’s yet to break 400 yards in a single season since then. Additionally, his best mark in touchdown receptions was last year when he had five. And, as Huard mentioned, that’s with a great quarterback (Luck) and probably the greatest quarterback ever (Brady) throwing him the football.
“It’s not as if he’s been in ‘Dysfunctionville’ with bad quarterbacks, he’s had the opportunity, so I’ve got a little bit of concern.”
As noted, Dorsett’s deal with the Seahawks is for just one year, and that causes Huard to worry since he couldn’t gather more interest than that.
“There really were not people clamoring for his services,” he said. “Count me as a guy who is a little skeptical going into this, not saying ‘oh my gosh, he’s going to be the third (receiver), what an incredible addition.’ I understand the addition, especially on a one-year deal and you take a flyer on that. But his speed has to come alive.”
On offense, the Seahawks love to run the ball to help set up play-action passes downfield. Dorsett’s speed could certainly help in that regard.
We’ve seen how top-end speed can put teams over the top. In the most recent Super Bowl, it looked like the San Francisco 49ers had the game in the bag with a 20-10 lead late in the fourth quarter, but the Kansas City Chiefs executed a huge third-down conversion that changed the game.
On third-and-15, the Chiefs ran “2-3 Wasp,” and receiver Tyreek Hill, lined up in the slot on the left side of the field, ran deep towards the middle of the field and then changed course and sprinted left. Here’s the layout of the play in Madden 20 with Hill’s route in red.
Coming soon to #Madden20…
— Madden NFL 20 (@EAMaddenNFL) February 7, 2020
Hill caught a pass for 44 yards and the Chiefs scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to win the game. For a breakdown of the play, watch this video by 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps.
Huard said only a handful of receivers are fast and skilled enough to pull of that route and that Dorsett could fall under that category.
“Phillip Dorsett with his physical tools is a guy capable of doing that and I think for those deep plays, those shots down the field, and I think that’s why he’s here on a one-year deal,” Huard said.
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• 2020 offseason tracker: Seahawks’ signings, departures and more