Former Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett didn’t have to do as much as he did Wednesday at the Hurricanes’ pro day.
Dorsett has already established himself as a solid second-round pick with his play, and his 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine only solidified that in February.
Dorsett, a possible second-round target for the Panthers, not only did his position drills but also ran the 40-yard dash again and improved on his time in front of scouts and coaches representing all 32 NFL teams. No official results were released, but several scouts clocked Dorsett close to 4.25.
“I wouldn’t say (anything) to prove, it’s just me and my competitive spirit,” said Dorsett, who was wearing a gray shirt that read ‘Speed Rich’ on the front. “It’s me coming out here and doing everything because everybody wants to see it. Everybody likes seeing a guy compete and do everything. I made my mind up right after the combine that I was going to do everything at the pro day even though I had a good combine.”
Dorsett said he got positive feedback from teams because he decided to do everything at pro day, but he said that wasn’t his main motivation. He wanted to improve in all areas, and for the most part, he did.
Outside of the bench press, which he did not do after putting up 13 reps of 225 pounds at the combine, Johnson increased his vertical by one inch to 38 inches while having an even faster 40 with the help of a better start.
Dorsett was one of the fastest players at the Indianapolis combine two months ago. His 4.33 came when he was wearing Adidas, and the apparel company gave him $100,000 for having one of the top three fastest times at the combine while wearing its shoes.
But he’s more than just speed. Last year he led the Hurricanes in receiving yards (871) and touchdowns (10) on just 36 catches. Half of his catches last year went for at least 25 yards.
Offensive coordinator James Coley’s system didn’t call for many teams to press Dorsett at the line of scrimmage, nor did it require him to run more than a handful of routes.
Because of that, Dorsett’s tape may not translate well to the NFL. But the 5-foot-10, 184-pound receiver tried to put those worries at ease Wednesday.
On a 10-yard cut during red-zone drills, Dorsett hauled in a high pass from Ryan Williams and landed out of bounds. He would have barreled into a barricade meant to keep media off the field, but he tiptoed along the out-of-bounds line and cut between two barricades to avoid the potential harm.
Later in the drills he did another hard cut in the end zone to work outside. He ferociously cut outside and then double-tapped his feet in bounds for the would-be touchdown.
Because of his frame, Dorsett will likely be placed in the slot at the next level. Tuesday night he had dinner with Saints representatives, and in the next two weeks he plans to have private workouts for Miami, Atlanta and Carolina.
The Panthers have expressed a desire to add speed, and though they’ve added some in free agency, Dorsett is a different kind of fast with the bargain of a second-round rookie deal.
“My pitch, just say what I would say to (a team), I’m just a guy who’s going out there trying to get better every day,” Dorsett said. “A guy that works, that works, that works. You can tell that I’m a junkie when it comes to playing football and working out. Just knowing everything about football. I want to get better every day.”
▪ Miami inside linebacker Denzel Perryman said he has a private workout scheduled with the Panthers on April 16. He did 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at pro day.
▪ Running back Duke Johnson improved on his 40 after a disappointing combine. He ran a 4.47 Wednesday after running a 4.59 in Indianapolis in February.
▪ Panthers scout Ryan Cowden threw to Miami defensive backs Nantambu Fentress and Ladarius Gunter during their workout. Both players showed nice hips and fluid motion.
Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9