Organized Training Activities are voluntary, but there's plenty of value that can be found during the three-week period of the Washington Commanders' offseason workout program.
Just ask the Commanders' eight-player draft class, which has been adjusting to the rigors of the NFL. Some, like first-round pick Jahan Dotson, are expected to be immediate contributors, while others will be depth pieces in their rookie seasons.
Either way, Rivera is impressed with their progress.
"You feel good about our picks," Ron Rivera told team analyst Logan Paulsen. "We really think these guys have an opportunity to come in and be part of what we're doing."
Dotson, who the Commanders took with the No. 16 overall pick, has been the clear standout. He's made steady progress during each practice, and the last time the media came to the facility, Dotson made several grabs, including a touchdown from Carson Wentz.
"He's done a nice job," offensive coordinator Scott Turner told reporters after last Wednesday's OTA. "He came in, it looks like it's not too big for him."
But Dotson is hardly the sole rookie who has impressed people. Players like fifth-round pick Cole Turner, offensive lineman Chris Paul and defensive back Christian Holmes have also delivered solid moments. Holmes, the Commanders' final draft pick, even grabbed an interception during Monday's OTA.
Those performances, Rivera said, help confirm many of the evaluations they had on their draft picks.
"It's kudos to our scouting department. I think Martin [Mayhew] and Marty [Hurney] and Eric [Stokes] and Tim Gribble, those guys have done a great job for us. And when these guys go out and find guys later and they look like they can come in and contribute, that's a big deal."
The draft picks have been able to build chemistry with their new teammates as well. Rivera praised the attendance over the past three weeks with only a handful of players being absent.
And if the Commanders are to take the next step that Rivera envisions, that's a good sign.
"You see guys really coming together, really working at it," Rivera said. "And it is a good testament just to how quickly...the rookies have picked some things up, because we got a lot of those guys involved already."
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Wednesday June 8, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Football Team.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd writes about Benjamin St-Juste impressing Shawn Springs during OTAs.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Ryan Fitzpatrick's retirement.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about the Commanders announcing their fight song will debut on Aug. 13.
- Sports Illustrated's Ethan Hurwitz writes about Percy Butler's progress during OTAs.
- Sports Illustrated's David Harrison looks at where Carson Wentz ranks among the NFL's deep passers.
- USA Today's Ivan Lambert reports on the Commanders announcing their home themes for the 2022 season.
- CBS Sports Shanna McCarriston writes about Ron Rivera comparing Carson Wentz to Philip Rivers.
- The Washington Time's Matthew Paras writes about the Commanders' secondary banking on continuity for success in 2022.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about how the Commanders want Chase Young and Montez Sweat to grow.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes that Ron Rivera believes the team and training staff are in sync.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig gives his observations on under-the-radar OTA standouts.
- USA Today's Bryan Manning writes about his highlights and takeaways from OTAs.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd writes that the Commanders have no real limitations with Curtis Samuel, according to Scott Turner.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes that Bobby McCain knows the importance of starting fast in 2022.
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- Stars & sleepers from Commanders OTAs
- Why Montez Sweat's length, explosiveness gives offenses so many problems
- Trai Turner is fitting right in with Commanders' O-Line
- Jahan Dotson continues to stand out in OTAs
- Percy Butler is eager to learn, and it's leaving a good impression on his teammates
- Scott Turner | 'There's a lot of different things we we'll be able to do' with Jahan Dotson
- Ron Rivera | Montez Sweat 'becomes more and more dynamic'
- Washington Commanders announce 2022 preseason schedule
- Commanders' offense primed to be more explosive with Wentz at QB
- Logan Paulsen, Santana Moss break down injury updates on Chase Young, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas
- Chase Young remains confident in his recovery process
- Senior Pro Scout, former tight end Don Warren retires from NFL
- OTA Notebook | Jahan Dotson, offensive weapons continue to improve
- Riveras open up on how Filipino ancestors shaped views of hard work, sacrifice, family priorities
- Rivera: Gandy-Golden has size, athleticism to switch to TE
- Logan Paulsen breaks down why Washington's backfield is so exciting
- William Jackson confident in growth from Commanders' secondary
- Commanders praise Wentz's arm strength, veteran leadership
- Brian Robinson has high expectations for his NFL career
- Curtis Samuel 'flying around' after recovering from groin, hamstring injuries'
- OTA Notebook | Carson Wentz takes the field, Cole Holcomb takes on leadership role