Route Running – For a player that operates almost exclusively out of the slot, Dortch does a better job of facing off-man coverage than anything else. He struggles to process zone coverages and find space, especially on slant routes. His best route against zone coverage is the curl, as he has a feel for where to finish his route inside. Other than that, he produced a lot on change of direction routes such as the whip route. His best break is his horizontal speed cut, as his deep out route can be lethal with proper timing. He badly struggles with contact, especially in his stem. When the shiftiness in his hips allows him to avoid defensive backs, his route breaks can be explosive. Otherwise, Dortch is slowed when he’s crowded and he lacks conviction in his plan. Generally, he doesn’t work to avoid contact in his stems, rarely using his hands to discard jams. When facing man coverage, he fails to threaten defensive backs vertically far too often. He likes to be unique in his stems, but often times there is too much wasted movement. Dortch has a lack of effort too often in his route running, occasionally stopping his route when doubled or covered closely. Additionally, he fails to work into windows during the scramble drill. Ran a lot of screen passes at Wake Forest, which basically consisted of him standing stationary behind the line of scrimmage.
Athleticism / Speed - Dortch is quicker and shiftier than he is fast, as I have question marks about his top end speed. He has flexibility in his hips and a certain suddenness when he wants to move laterally, which he can utilize in his route running. Undersized, he lacks strength throughout his body. There will be durability concerns over Dortch due to his lack of size, and he will need added bulk for the next level. His lack of size and strength limits his ceiling.
Hands / Ball Skills - Dortch has soft hands, and he can extend and pluck the ball out of the air. However, too often his lack of strength limits his ability in contested spots. Not only does his lack of length take away from his ability when crowded, but he can have the ball ripped out of his hands too regularly. Dortch stuggles with any type of contact at the catchpoint, generally unable to corral passes without separation. Regardless, when given space he has suffered from very few drops.
Body Control - Dortch can extend beyond his frame both vertically and horizontally. He’s shown the ability to expand his catch radius, but can lack awareness about his position along the boundary. He’s in control of his movements and breaks, with a compact frame and quick feet.
Ball Carrier - Elusive ball carrier with field vision, which is highlighted by his ability as a punt returner. He was heavily incorporated into the screen game, but rarely would break off explosive plays when given space. Will rarely break or slip through tackles, instead looking to avoid contact at all costs. For a slot receiver, he doesn’t transition from receiver to ball carrier as fast as you’d expect.
Stalk Blocking - Inneffective as a stalk blocker for multiple reasons. His approaches are slow, and his engages lack power. Upon engaging with the defensive back, he stops running his feet and looks towards the ball carrier. On top of his lack of technique and effort, his small frame limits his ceiling. As a slot receiver, his blocking is more paramount to running plays. He needs to improve his technique and effort.
Versatility - Dortch has 45 punt returns and 36 kick returns in his two-year playing career at Wake Forest, including two touchdowns. With a healthy average on both and a nice combination of vision and elusiveness, he could likely fill as a punt returner in the NFL. He was sent in motion a good amount at Wake Forest, but was primarily a slot receiver which will likely be his offensive role at the next level.
BEST TRAIT - Hands
WORST TRAIT - Contested Catch
RED FLAGS - None
Dortch is an ascending prospect who declared early for the NFL Draft. A major contributor on 4 downs, his projection will be as a slot receiver and punt returner in the NFL. I have concerns over his overall game, as I’m not convinced of his high-end athleticism. On top of that, there are too many raw aspects to his route running. He can struggle to process space, handle contact or win in contested spots. Additionally, Dortch’s effort can be questionable on too many plays for a player who lacks strength. His potential as a receiver can warrant a Day 2 selection, but the rest of his game makes me think he’d be better suited for Day 3.