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Doug Orth | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

NFL Draft Profile – WR Josh Doctson

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Josh Doctson

With a complete skill set and plenty of room for growth, Doctson is worthy of being a first-round pick.

College: TCU
Height/Weight: 6' 2”/202
Hands: 9 7/8”

Important NFL Combine Numbers
40-Yard Dash: 4.50
Vertical Jump: 41"
Broad Jump: 10' 11"
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.08
3-Cone: 6.84

Background (College Stats)
A three-star recruit out of Texas, Doctson began his collegiate career in 2011 at Wyoming, where he spent only one year before returning home, in part to be closer to his family after his grandfather was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In a slight twist of irony, TCU's school-record holder in receiving yards (2,785) and touchdown catches (29) scored his first college touchdown against the Horned Frogs - against future San Diego Chargers first-round CB Jason Verrett, no less - midway through his lone season in Laramie. Doctson sat out due to transfer rules in 2012 and, even as the TCU offense struggled to find an identity (splitting snaps between Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin at quarterback the following year, the emerging sophomore led the team in catches (36) and receiving yards (440) during the school's only losing season under coach Gary Patterson.

Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham were named co-offensive coordinators the following year (2014) and Boykin, now the clear starter at quarterback, began making Doctson his go-to receiver. Doctson's coming-of-age game came in a rout of Oklahoma State in mid-October with 225 yards receiving - one shy of the school record at the time - and two touchdowns, showing off his big-play ability with 77 and 84-yards scores in the first quarter of that contest. He finished 2014 with 65 catches while setting single-season school marks with 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns. He continued his assault on the TCU record books as a senior, posting six straight games of at least 129 yards receiving AND two touchdowns during the middle of the 2015 season. The highlight was an 18-catch, 267-yard, three-score performance in a wild 55-52 win over Texas Tech. His season came to an unfortunate end in mid-November due to a broken wrist, which sidelined him for three full games and most of a fourth. Despite missing nearly a third of the season, Doctson bested his previous single-season school records with 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns while grabbing the one other notable receiving mark he just missed out on the previous year (79 catches).

NFL Player Comp(s): Allen Robinson

Best Scheme Fit: Universal. Possesses the body control and explosion to be a consistent deep threat in the NFL as well as the strong hands and intelligence to move the chains in the short and intermediate passing game.


  • Displays exceptional ball skills on downfield throws, using the combination of strong hands and incredible explosion (excellent vertical and broad jump numbers) to win the majority of high-point situations.
  • Understands the concept of giving his quarterback some space to "drop the ball in the bucket" along the sideline on deep throws, shows a strong desire to track down overthrown balls and the field awareness to get his feet down inbounds on such throws.
  • Made a living inside the hashes (especially slants) and uses his body well to shield defender; possesses a large strike zone and consistently makes plays on poorly-thrown balls.
  • Works his way back to the quarterback when he is under pressure and resourceful enough to bait defender into a pass interference call on an underthrown ball.
  • Possesses a good feel for coverage, easily finds pockets with zone coverage and does a fine job of squaring himself to the quarterback in those situations.
  • Not an overpowering blocker by any means but very willing and capable of neutralizing his man in the running game.
  • Model citizen off the field and possesses the necessary work ethic in order to become a team leader in short order.


  • Needs additional upper-body strength in order to improve his ability to deal with physical coverage and protect himself from injury in the NFL.
  • Isn't particular quick, doesn't break a lot of tackles and does not show much power in the open field despite possessing elite "explosion numbers".
  • College spread offense didn't ask him to run a lot of pro routes, so he requires more polish and development as a route-runner; creates late separation down the field with body lean and sneaky hand usage, but tends to round off out-breaking routes.
  • Needs to come off the line of scrimmage every play like he is the featured receiver; did not fire off the line of scrimmage consistently.
  • Occasionally did not look for the football on quick-hitting plays that appeared to be designed to get the ball into his hands and suffered some focus drops, although his 2015 drop percentage (4.6 percent) and career drop percentage (3.6) are more than acceptable.

Bottom Line
Doctson has been characterized as the one receiver in this draft that has a chance to become a No. 1 receiver. While I'm not quite willing to go that far in terms of a making a blanket statement about the rest of this class, the Wyoming transfer is the most complete prospect of the four top prospects at the position that I will be writing profiles for prior to the draft. The most encouraging thing about Doctson is there is plenty of room for growth in his game, and it is easy to project him reaching that potential because there aren't any questions about his character or work ethic. Like Robinson, he doesn't blow by his defender on the deep ball or jump off the tape with blazing speed, he just always seems to come down with the ball.

At worst, I believe Doctson will be among the best No. 2 receivers in the NFL after he adds some muscle to his frame and develops more polish as a route-runner. His ceiling is one that rivals Robinson's; he will create big plays and be a force in the red zone simply because he is a savvy and trustworthy player that can "play above the rim" more often than most cornerbacks. Where he falls short of Robinson is after the catch; the Jacksonville Jaguars' emerging star is simply stronger at this point of his career and, thus, will break more tackles after making the catch on short and intermediate routes. That is hardly an unforgivable sin, however, and something Doctson can improve upon when he makes football his full-time job. While he isn't quite the same kind of receiver prospect that has headlined the first round of the NFL Draft over the previous two springs, Doctson is more than worthy of being a first-round pick and, in my opinion, the one that is most likely to give defensive coordinators fits for the next decade.

Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”. Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.