Some were surprised when the Washington Commanders selected Penn State wide receiver, Jahan Dotson, at No. 16 overall in the 2022 NFL draft. Washington had always Dotson high on its board and to move down five spots in the first round, add two additional selections and still land a player it loved was a win for the Commanders.
After trading back from No. 11 to 16, Washington elected to bolster their wide receiver room in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. Jahan Dotson from Penn State is the first draft pick of the Commanders era.
Dotson didn’t seem to be on many pundits’ radars for the Commanders originally, considering the stacked WR class coming out of college this year. A speedy yet small wideout with great hands, Dotson had the national media buzzing as he becomes the newest member of the Burgundy and Gold. He could pair nicely with established teammate Terry McLaurin — even if they went to rival schools.
“Terry McLaurin needed a running mate. Now he’s got one,” said ESPN analyst Louis Riddick. “Jahan is an inside-outside guy. He can go in the slot and let [McLaurin] go ahead and work the outside because they didn’t get any production in Washington out of the slot, and Dotson can do that.”
Washington’s primary slot option last season was Adam Humphries who, at times, showed spurts of production and gave the Commanders crucial yards on several third downs. Now, though, the rookie Dotson should step into that slot-WR1 role and has potential to complement McLaurin and a healthy Curtis Samuel.
Dotson’s best attribute is his hands. He essentially never drops the ball, is quick enough to rocket downfield off shallow throws, and could double as a deep threat which would pair nicely with Carson Wentz’ downfield style. He could also potentially step into a return role for Washington, which he did at times while in college.
“Jahan Dotson has THE best hands in this draft. Unbelievable,” said NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah. “His route running, here you see he’s able to show you that polish at the top of his route, be able to attack that leverage, double moves. We’ve seen this with a bunch of these wide receivers so far tonight.”
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