To be fair, there are legitimate parallels between the two players. Dotson, who Washington took with the 16th overall pick, is a quiet player with a loud skill set who possesses a wide catch radius and already runs pristine route. Yep, that sounds a lot like a young McLaurin, who quickly became Washington's best offensive weapon.
All those similarities give Commanders' fans a long list of reasons to be excited. Sure, having two dynamic pass-catchers on the field is a plus, but the Burgundy & Gold faithful are also looking forward to seeing Dotson learn from a player with kindred traits.
Dotson and McLaurin have been through six official practices together, and he's already picked up some things from his veteran teammate.
"He's a professional every single day," Dotson said. "He comes out here every morning. He recovers. He comes out here ready to practice every single day and he goes hard every single rep."
That's another way in which Dotson and McLaurin are alike. It was one of the things McLaurin first noticed about the rookie at a player-organized offseason workout in California. There was a lot to praise about Dotson's craft, including his natural ability to catch the football. But one fact about his new teammate was clearer than most: he takes his job seriously.
"He has a very business-like approach," McLaurin said. "You could tell he treats this as his job as a professional, and he has fun when he makes a play."
McLaurin has been praised for his preparation for years; it was part of why Ron Rivera called him an "organizational signing" when the Commanders gave him a multiyear extension. He approaches the game the right way, Rivera often says about McLaurin, and players who put in that kind of work should be rewarded.
The extra work McLaurin puts in shows up on the field, and as the clear leader of the position, he continues to himself and his teammates to improve.
"That's pretty much what you want in a teammate because he's gonna leave it all on the line for you," Dotson said. "You wanna do the exact same for him."
Dotson is already well on his way to becoming a key piece of the Commanders' offense in his own right. He's carried the strong impression he made during OTAs into training camp, and he's been lined up at several positions in practice. There are occasional previews of his impact, including the back-to-back 20-yard catches he had Tuesday morning.
However, McLaurin wants to do what he can to help expedite the process.
"I just wanna continue to encourage him to be himself, help continue to hone in on his skills, take the coaching really well, which he already does," McLaurin said. "I think he has a chance to help us a lot."
With there being high expectations for Washington's receiving corps, the hope is that Dotson and McLaurin will bring out the best in each other.
"It is great playing alongside someone like him," Dotson said, "just because I know what he's gonna bring every single day and that's being a professional and playing his heart out."