Let’s take a look at the redraft and dynasty fantasy football impact of the Washington Commanders’ selection of Jahan Dotson.
Team Drafted: Washington Commanders
Pick Selected: No. 16 overall
2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Outlook
Jahan Dotson landing in Washington is a better NFL move than it is for our purposes in fantasy football. Carson Wentz is a barbed wire turnover-prone mess with questionable ability at this stage of his career of supporting multiple receiving options in fantasy. Dotson will compete with Logan Thomas and J.D. McKissic for targets behind Terry McLaurin. Unless the Commanders increase their 18th ranked neutral passing rate last season, Dotson will be a volatile weekly option with a low target floor.
– Derek Brown
Initial redraft ranking: WR58
2022 NFL Draft Profile
Dotson wins with speed and footwork. While he does have good hand technique, swiping and clubbing when corners attempt to get their hands on him, physicality isn’t his redeeming trait. He shows more in that area in his run blocking than in his routes or after the catch. Dotson leaves Penn State with only 21 missed tackles forced (per PFF) in his four-year career despite ranking 17th (7.2) and 39th (7.3) in yards after the catch per reception in 2019 and 2020, among FBS wide receivers with a minimum of 50 targets.
|Among FBS wide receivers with 50 or more targets (Statistics via PFF):|
|Year||Formation alignment Slot / Wide||Yards per route run (rank)|
|2018*||28.2% / 71.8%||1.72|
|2019**||12.2% / 87.8%||1.25 (264th of 290)|
|2020||7.3% / 92.7%||2.63 (27th of 146)|
|2021||23.7% / 76.3%||2.56 (46th of 251)|
*Only 22 targets (2018)
**Only 45 targets (2019)
Dotson’s speed is build-up speed, as evidenced by his 57th percentile 10-yard split (1.55). He excels with his jets on posts and slants, with loose hips that allow him to change direction effortlessly without losing any RPMs. He adds nuance to his routes with pace variations, jab steps, and head fakes.
Considering his vanilla scores in the vertical and broad jumps and his 23rd percentile arm length, he’s got a decent catch radius. He plucks passes out of the air and can high-point well, which he needs often. These solid mitts had to contend with frequent errant passes from Sean Clifford. Shotgun-style inaccuracy from his quarterback litters Dotson’s tape. Among quarterbacks with 200 or more dropbacks, Clifford has never finished higher than 41st in adjusted completion percentage dating back to 2019. This was a significant problem for a receiver who relies on precision, as Dotson would dust corners on routes only to be airmailed.
For a receiver who will need to rely on his speed and prowess as a technician, there are still some areas where Dotson must improve to hit his upper range of outcomes. While his footwork on releases is precise with lightning-fast crossovers, he has problems gearing down on comebacks and out of his breaks. He needs to clean this up, especially for a receiver of his size. He’ll stumble at times at the top of his stem.
The footwork will be pivotal because he has physicality issues during his routes, and defensive backs can occasionally push him off his route or to the boundary. At times, Penn State lined him up in stacked formations to ensure a free release where he was tasked with the under route while another receiver ran deep. To ease his transition to the NFL, his next squad should consider moving Dotson into the slot on 40%-50% of his snaps as he evolves his game.
Dotson doesn’t profile as a true alpha, but that doesn’t mean he can’t become a high-end WR2 in the NFL. The wretched quarterback play he dealt with in college shows up in his 63.5% catch rate (per PFF), and it should have been much higher with his skill in securing the ball. His hands improved in every season since 2019, as he decreased his drop rate each year, finishing with 2.2% in 2021.
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