Texans seventh-round draft pick Dorin Dickerson played wide receiver, tight end, running back, kickoff returner and outside linebacker at Pitt.
Wide receiver Dorin Dickerson was drafted by the Texans in the seventh round (227th overall) out of Pittsburgh last weekend.
A versatile prospect, Dickerson was a standout tight end as a junior and senior at Pitt. He also played H-back, fullback, outside linebacker, wide receiver and kickoff returner for the Panthers. Dickerson ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash and had a 43.5-inch vertical jump at the scouting combine.
With organized team activities on the horizon, we caught up with Dickerson for a "10 Questions" interview about the disappointment of falling to the seventh round, the transition to wide receiver and more.
1. Since the draft, what have you been doing to stay in shape?
"I'm in Pittsburgh still, and I've just been training at my facility that I trained at in college. I've been working out with my strength coach, and everything is going pretty good. Just trying to get into the best shape possible before I come down to Houston, with all that really hot weather down there."
2. What do you know about your position coach, Larry Kirksey?
"I talked to him a little bit. He coached at Pitt in 1989, back in the day. So I kind of looked up on him a little bit, and he coached at Pitt with my offensive coordinator, Frank Cignetti. He's got a little bit of Pitt blood in him, so it will be nice to start talking with him about that when I'm down there."
3. Speaking of Pitt ties, did you ever meet Larry Fitzgerald while you were playing there?
"Yeah, he came there a few times, but I was a lot younger than him. I just talked to him two weeks ago. He was here for our spring game, so we went out to dinner. He's a good dude."
4. We're going to put you on the spot and tug at both of your allegiances here: Who's better, Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson?
"That's tough (laughs). That's tough to say who's a better receiver. But Andre Johnson, he's a great receiver. They're both bigger guys and they play the game real well. They play the position the best in the NFL, and they'll probably go down into the Hall of Fame someday. I just feel like it's very fortunate for me to learn from a guy like Andre Johnson and a lot of those older vets that are there. I'm in a pretty good position."
5. You were an All-American last season and had a great combine, and a lot of projections had you being drafted in the third or fourth round. How difficult was it for you during the draft to have to wait until the middle of the seventh round to hear your name called?
"It was kind of tough. I was sitting there with my family, and we were watching it and wondering and seeing all these other tight ends get taken that I've never heard of before. You know, it was tough, but it is what it is now. No matter what, I was going to have to prove myself to everybody and still make the team. I feel that the situation I'm in now is just going to give me a chip on my shoulder. I'm going to go down there and do what I can do."
*6. It ended up that you're going to a team that had the top passing offense in the league last season. You talked about it a little bit before, but how much are you looking forward to playing with Matt Schaub and learning from receivers like Andre Johnson? *
"Oh, it's going to be awesome. I can't wait to get down there. Everybody else had mini-camps this weekend, and I was so ready to go and they told me I can't report 'til the 16th of May, so I was like, 'Oh, man, I have to wait a couple more weeks.' But I'm excited to catch the ball from Matt Schaub. I watched him play at Virginia whenever I was younger, and Andre Johnson at Miami. So I've been watching these guys for a while. It's going to be real exciting."
7. How do you feel about going back to play the wide receiver position now after you moved around to linebacker and tight end?
"I feel comfortable. I started out as a receiver. The reason why I switched was because I was hurt [Note: Dickerson suffered PCL and ankle injuries in a high school all-star game before enrolling at Pitt]. That kind of hindered me for a little bit, and I lost a lot of speed. I was still growing and I was still getting bigger, so they felt that I was too slow to play receiver, so they moved me to linebacker. But I feel real comfortable (with the position change). I'll work on all my skills, fine-tune everything and hopefully become a great receiver on the next level."
* 8. What's going to be the biggest adjustment for you in making that transition?*
"Just coming in and out of breaks, running routes. Just keep running routes. The more routes I can get, the better. The difference between what I did this year and receiver is I did a lot of inside routes like seams and flat routes. Now, I'm going to be doing outside routes like comebacks and out routes, so I've just got to work on that stuff the most. "
9. Do you think your versatility – with all the positions you've played – will help you in the NFL?
"Coming from offense to defense to receiver as a running back, linebacker, all that stuff, that just makes me a smarter player. Hopefully, that helps me at the next level. I can read defenses better and coverages better."
*10. For Texans fans who haven't seen you play, what are they going to get when they see you on the field? *
"Speed and strength, and a lot of physical blocking. Just hopefully making plays and helping other people make plays down the field with the blocking. Like I said, a lot of physical, and a lot of speed."