It’s early days, but the Washington Commanders have seemingly drafted a stud in 2022 first-round pick Jahan Dotson. His play on the field is one thing — he catches everything thrown his direction regardless of accuracy — but the way he handles himself as a pro is indicative of a player who belongs in the NFL.
Most draft prognosticators had a late-first or early-second-round grade on Dotson, so Washington predictably caught some heat for taking him at No. 16 overalls; before Treylon Burks, Christian Watson, John Metchie III and George Pickens.
If everything goes according to plan, Dotson will be competing with those receivers — sans Metchie, who’s likely to miss the entire season after he was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia — for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
With no clearcut favorite at quarterback, the race is wide open, so the talented Commanders rookie has a chance to bring home the hardware.
Up until recently, NFL writers and analysts had snubbed Dotson from noteworthy rookie predictions. However, NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein changed that by including Dotson as one of 10 candidates for the OROY award.
Commanders WR Jahan Dotson mentioned as a candidate for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
It’s worth noting Dotson ranked No. 10 out of 10 candidates. Still, the fact that the former Nittany Lion even qualified is a big deal. Despite his eye-opening OTAs and minicamp and equally-bright start to training camp, Dotson has flown under the radar in the eyes of the national media so it’s nice to see him get some recognition.
Here’s what Zierlein said of the 22-year-old.
Dotson might be a sneaky one to watch in this category. He has good speed, can work all three levels of the field and has great body control, which he uses to make acrobatic catches. QB Carson Wentz is a newcomer to the squad, and while Terry McLaurin is the clear WR1, Wentz will be starting fresh with all of his receivers in Washington. The door could be open for Dotson to gain some favor with Wentz in camp.
Dotson has certainly “gained some favor” with Wentz at camp. The two connected on an impressive touchdown in tight coverage Saturday. A couple days earlier, they linked up for a nearly 40-yard deep ball near the sidelines.
Dotson was one of seven receivers included in Zierlein’s article, including Chris Olave, Watson, Drake London, Skyy Moore, Garrett Wilson and Burks, who ranked the highest of all rookie wideouts at No. 2 overalls. For those wondering, Jets second-round running back Breece Hall got the top spot due to his versatility and the likely massive workload he’s going to get in Year 1.
While Dotson clearly has the talent to beat out all of these candidates, his chances will ultimately hinge on his target share in Washington’s offense, because stats are going to determine who wins the award when all is said and done.