Jahan Dotson 2022 NFL Draft
The 2022 wide receiver class is generating a lot of buzz as the strongest positional group entering the draft. One of the notable names in this class is Penn State product Jahan Dotson. Dotson in his senior season had 91 receptions for 1,182 yards and 12 scores, adding 18 extra yards and a rushing score. He finished his career at Penn State ranked second in school history in career and single-season receptions (91 in 2021), fourth in career receiving yards (2,757), second in receiving yards in a season (1,182 in 2021), and second in career (25) and in a single season (12 in 2021).
NFL COMBINED RECAP/RESULTS
Coming into the combine, Dotson fit the profile of a burner expected to go late in the first round with the possibility of slipping into the second round due to the steep depth at the position. Its official metrics are as follows:
- HEIGHT: 5’10 5/8″
- WEIGHT: 178
- HAND: 9 1/2″
- ARM: 30 3/4″
- SPAN: 6’2″
- SHOT FROM 40 YARDS: 4.43
- 3 CONES: 7.28
- SHUTTLE: DNP
- VERTICAL: 36″
- WIDE: 10’1″
Dotson’s drill metrics and times were solid but didn’t necessarily jump off the page. This isn’t very surprising as his value stems more from his ball skills and road running. In a WR class with remarkable overall speed, seeing 8 different players run under 4.4 times, Dotson went a bit under the radar. However, he was expected to top 4.4 himself and simply got slow breaks on both of his attempts. Dotson’s 3-cone time was exactly the same as Arkansas Treylon Burks, who weighs nearly 50 pounds more. His strongest combination metric from the wide receiver position was his vertical, matching Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson for 11th best.
Dotson’s game speed is on par with other burners in the class. His combination of that speed with his running isn’t far off Ohio State WR Chris Olave, who is expected to come off the board a little earlier. Dotson adds value as a good punt returner and isn’t afraid to catch passes in traffic. He is extremely versatile, able to line up outdoors or indoors and be a field stretcher or YAC producer.
Perhaps Dotson’s most unique trait that can lead an NFL team to dedicate a first-round pick to him is his ability to be a three-tier receiver. A coaching staff prioritizing a full playbook with full course trees can maximize Dotson’s strengths as an immediate starter.
In a word, size. Dotson’s height and overall build are both shorter. This makes him more of a suitable scheme than an obvious pick for any team needing a weapon in the air. He has performed well in media coverage at the college level, but there will no doubt be concerns about whether he can do the same against NFL corners.
While Dotson can produce on short, medium and deep routes, his biggest area of development may be fine-tuning his short game. He will need to improve in and out of the breaks closer to the line of scrimmage to become a complete receiver.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON
A common perception of a player like Dotson draws parallels with someone like Tyler Lockett, as referenced by the Bleacher Report scouting department. However, another comp I see discussed who I believe is more accurate is Diontae Johnson. The combination of a crisp, burst run and catching errant pitches in traffic makes him a threat to airyards and the YAC. If he can improve his close-range separation, I can see it reflecting Johnson’s reliability as a warp mover in 3rd down. I don’t expect him to beat a lot of double teams or jams in elite corners, but he’s not a one-round field shooter either.
Dotson has elite speed with a solid stroke and wide grab radius, but he’s undersized. This limits the number of teams that would dedicate a first-round pick to him, as his skills don’t easily translate to an alpha receiver. The best fit for him would be somewhere where he could immediately step in as a starter, but not be the number one option. I would also expect him to land in a spot that has a big arm behind the center to use his speed and help manufacture separation for both him and his teammates. Considering Dotson’s limitations likely push him out of the first half of the first round, I expect him to land with a contending team late in the first round. Kansas City, Buffalo, Tennessee and Green Bay fit the bill, with my prediction he’ll get the Packers’ call to give recently retained Aaron Rodgers a shiny new (and cheap) toy to help fill the void. massive left by Davante Adams.
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Dessy John has been a fantasy football player for 20 years, combining data and intuition to provide valuable perspective on the game. He spent 15 years as a marketer in Silicon Valley and currently pursues his passions for writing and sports media. He holds an MBA from the University of California, Riverside. Dessy is an avid 49ers fan and resides in the Bay Area with his wife and two daughters.