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Predicting 5 Patriots breakout players in 2018: #3 Phillip Dorsett

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After a disappointing first season in New England, expect Phillip Dorsett to have a huge role in the offense in 2018.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

One year and one day ago today, the New England Patriots acquired Phillip Dorsett in exchange for quarterback Jacoby Brissett – and, at the time, for depth at a loaded wide receiver position. Fast forward to today and with several key weapons at the position leaving via trade and free agency in Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola, the speedy wide out is hoping to provide a spark as the #3 receiver.

Dorsett, a former first round draft pick back in 2015, caught just twelve passes last year for 194 yards, including two in the post season. However, with Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games, Eric Decker retiring, Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt all released, Dorsett will most likely line up across from Chris Hogan in week one as the Patriots’ #2 receiver.

Dorsett gets a pass for his down year last season, as he was never given an opportunity and everyone knows it is very hard to learn the Patriots offense in sometimes a whole camp, Dorsett was given just five days before New England’s first game last season. Dorsett, who has a bit of Brandin Cooks in him, is a fast, shifty and vertical route runner that can make a big play for an offense.

There’s no question the Patriots need some additional depth and help, but the Patriots have no choice to put Dorsett out there and give him a bigger role – something he wants as well: “This is what I’ve been preparing for, This is what I’ve been working for. I wouldn’t say it feels different to me. I was here all along last year just trying to carve out a role, just grinding and learning as much as I can. I learned a lot.”

Dorsett has done a great job all training camp getting reps with quarterback Tom Brady and ultimately working towards some trust with the forty-one year old quarterback, especially in the third pre-season game: Brady went to him on a crucial fourth down to a key pick up the first down. And we all know, once you gain Tom Brady’s trust, the sky is the limit.