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5 things to know about WR Jahan Dotson


The Washington Commanders have selected Penn State receiver Jahan Dotson with the 16th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Here are five things to know about the newest member of the Commanders receiving corps, presented by Grubhub.

1. He has incredible hands.

Dotson got on the national stage in a big way during the 2020 season, when he made eight catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns against Ohio State. But there was one catch that stood out among the rest: his one-handed grab that went for a 21-yard touchdown.

It was an incredible moment, but what was even better was his response after he made the catch.

"I approach that (ball) as a million dollars. It's a million dollars in the air. If you want it, you go get it."

While it was a sensational catch, it's on par for what Dotson does on a regular basis. He was targeted 288 times throughout his career with the Nittany Lions, and he only had 10 drops for just a 3.5% drop rate. In 2021, he had the lowest drop rate among FBS players with at least 100 targets.

Dotson's large catch radius should be a welcome addition for Carson Wentz.

2. He's one of the most decorated players in Penn State history.

Dotson is coming to the NFL with a pristine resume.

Dotson, a four-star prospect out of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, finished his career at Penn State with 183 catches for 2,757 yards and 25 touchdowns. That makes him one of 10 players in program history to surpass 2,000 yards.

But the accolades don't stop there. He's second all-time in receptions and touchdowns and fourth in receiving yards. He's second all-time in 100-yard games, four of which came during the 2021 season.

Ron Rivera mentioned how he wanted playmakers for Wentz, and it looks like they have one.

3. He was a record-setting, three-sport athlete in high school.

Yes, Dotson had a standout college career, but he had already proven just how unique he was in high school.

In addition to being a wide receiver for Nazareth Area High School -- he was an All-State selection who set school records in receptions (187), receiving yards (2,755) and receiving touchdowns (40) -- he was also a basketball and track star.

Dotson was an all-around athlete as a member of Nazareth's track & field team. He won the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state championships in the 4x100 relay and the long jump in 2016, making him the first individual champion for the school since 1970. He also won championships in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4x100 relay in 2018.

That speed translated onto the football field, as shown by his 4.43 40-yard dash time. That makes him a nice fit for the Commanders, who already have a wealth of speedy wideouts on the roster.

4. He's a reliable downfield target.

We've already covered how Dotson's hands are among his biggest strengths, but there are two stats that show just how reliable he is as a playmaker.

For one, according to Pro Football Focus, Dotson never dropped a pass of at least 20 yards during his time at Penn State. That should be exciting for Wentz, who is credited for having a big arm. Rivera said that Wentz adds another dimension to the Commanders' offense, so having a player who can make those downfield catches should highlight that even further.

Second, Dotson was one of the best receivers when it came to making downfield touchdowns. Prior to Penn State's game against Rutgers, he led all FBS receivers in touchdowns of at least 20 yards.

Making deep catches is not uncommon for the Commanders' receivers. Terry McLaurin excels in that area, but Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown also have a history of making big plays. Adding a fourth playmaker to that group should expand the offense even further.

5. He takes pride in his versatility.

Dotson stands at 5-foot-11 and 178 pounds. That, along with his hands and route-running, make him an ideal candidate for playing in the slot.

And Dotson can certainly do that, but don't try to limit him to one role. No matter where the Commanders end up using him, he believes he's going to succeed.

"I feel like I can do both," Dotson said when asked if he's an outside or inside receiver. "That's one thing I feel like is one of my biggest traits in my game is my versatility."

It's good that Dotson has that ability, because there's a good chance that Dotson will be moved around a lot during his rookie season. Scott Turner likes to put his players in the best position to succeed, and with a player like Dotson who is comfortable playing in multiple roles, that should open up the offense.

No matter where he plays, Dotson is ready to get to work.

"Just being a very savvy receiver, being very smart and just making some highlight plays and bringing energy to the team," Dotson said during his press conference.

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