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2022 NFL Draft Grades | Experts applaud Commanders for selecting 'fearless' Jahan Dotson, snatching up more later round picks


The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the opinion of the team.

Washington found itself in an ideal spot to pick up the former Penn State wide receiver after trading back with the Saints to get the No. 16 pick in exchange for picks in the third and fourth rounds. Shortly after the selection, Head Coach Ron Rivera and General Manager Martin Mayhew praised Dotson's speed, play-making ability as well as his hunger and competitiveness in going after balls. The receiver, who described Thursday as "the greatest moment of his life," expressed his eagerness in getting to work and adding his skills to the Commanders’ offense.

Here's how the draft pundits graded the move:

Analysis: "Jahan Dotson's size shouldn't fool anyone, because he plays much bigger than his 5-foot-11, 178-pound frame indicates.

'When I get the ball in my hands, it's exciting,' he told reporters at the NFL combine. 'I'm very fast. I can take the top off defenses.'

For some, where he lines up may be in question. His stature doesn't automatically equate to him being a slot receiver, though.

First, Dotson isn't a slouch in the speed department. The first-team All-Big Ten performer posted a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine to work down the field and outside the numbers. Second, only 16.4 percent of his snaps came from the slot, according to Pro Football Focus' Austin Gayle.

Maybe the most impressive aspect of Dotson's skill set is how he battles to make catches outside of his frame. Despite 30-inch arms, he can go up and pluck the ball out of the air. His 36-inch vertical jump helps in these situations."

Analysis: "Dotson (5-foot-11, 178) started 38 games for the Nittany Lions and was prolific last year with 91 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns. He ran a 4.43 and showed on film that he can separate -- whether lined up on the outside or in the slot.

Dotson catches everything, is fearless in the middle of the field and has outstanding awareness and instincts. He doesn't make a lot of people miss with the ball in his hands, and at 178 pounds, his play strength in the NFL is a question. But Dotson profiles as one of the wide receivers from this class who should be able to contribute right away.

Washington traded back from 11 to 16, picked up a third- and a fourth-round pick and landed a talented wide receiver prospect. Nice job by them."

Analysis: "They trade back and land a receiver who will give them more juice in the passing game. They needed to help Carson Wentz and Dotson will give them another speed player. Landing the extra picks and getting a a good receiver makes this a good move." 

Analysis: "His savviness as a route runner, along with terrific straight-line speed and sticky hands make him a Tyler Lockett clone. Teams won't be able to double up Terry McLaurin any longer and with Logan Thomas and Antonio Gibson also talented pass-catchers, new quarterback Carson Wentz has the weapons needed to succeed."

Analysis: "Washington smartly grabbed late-third- and early-fourth-round picks (Nos. 98 and 120) from New Orleans to move down five spots in Round 1. With the run on receivers beginning with the Jets at No. 10, the Commanders ended up with Dotson to fill a need on the outside. Dotson's not a big, physical receiver, but his hands are outstanding, and he really performed well for a Nittany Lions offense lacking explosiveness when he wasn't getting the ball. I'll be interested to see if Dotson becomes an elite receiver or if this proves to be a reach -- with Washington selecting him after four receivers came off the board in the first 12 picks."

Analysis: "The Commanders took a circuitous route to getting their deep threat complement to Terry McLaurin, knowing Carson Wentz operates best when having that type of player outside. It might seem a little forced after choosing to stay put and take either Olave or Williams, but Dotson's speed and quickness was definitely a missing offensive element for Scott Turner."

Analysis: "This isn't the flashiest pick, and there are those who will criticize the team for moving down when they could have had Jameson Williams with the 11th pick. But Dotson is an underrated professional receiver from Day 1, and when Carson Wentz is your quarterback, the more professionalism, the better."