Jahan Dotson Draft Profile
This year’s wide receiver class is absolutely stacked and I could see Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson falling under the radar, but still making an instant impact. While Penn State is a factory for producing running backs and linebackers, Dotson is the best Nittany Lions receiver since Chris Godwin. Dotson came onto the scene his junior year after putting up over 800 yards and eight touchdowns. He is a player that had my attention going into 2021 and lived up to the hype in his senior season. What grabbed my attention and many scouts’ attention was his one-handed catch over Ohio State’s Shaun Wade in 2020. The great thing about Dotson is that he is much more than just one “Odell Beckham-esque” catch. While Dotson may be one of the more overlooked receivers of this draft class, I expect him to make a name for himself once he gets into the league.
Some players are quick others are fast; Jahan Dotson is both. His lateral speed and quick-twitch muscles are next level and coaches will be able to use his speed to test defenses both side-to-side and downfield. While Dotson is only 5’11, his catch radius is insane. He fully extends his arms and snags balls out of mid-air. Dotson’s size is deceptive— quarterbacks can trust him to go up and come down with passes even if they aren’t the smartest throws. When running double-moves, Dotson has shown that he can be an effective salesman and kill defensive backs on double moves. The great part about Dotson is that he will contribute on more than just offense— he is really good on special teams and will return punts for whatever team he lands with. As a route runner, Dotson does a good job at attacking the opposing defensive backs’ blindspot; this is how Dotson is able to lose corners in coverage. After the catch, Dotson has an effective sidestep that provides a harder tackling angle for defensive backs. When Dotson is at his best, he is impossible to cover; he’s a big-play receiver that has a chance to be a team’s number one receiver.
My biggest issue with Jahan Dotson is his inconsistency. He is more than capable of being one of the league’s best route runners, having some of the best hands in the league, and being a true number one, but he is also capable of burning out of the league. There are some plays where he makes defenders look like burnt toast and other plays where Dotson does not look like he belongs on the field. When he high points the football he comes down with the ball 90% of the time, the problem is that he needs to be more consistent with going up. A lot of the time he’ll let the ball come to him rather than snagging out of mid-air. Some of his releases make defenders touch the earth, but other times you see corners jam him up really well. In the NFL, Dotson will struggle against physical defensive backs, I would like to see him put on some muscle. If Dotson can focus on consistency and winning one rep at a time, he will tear up the NFL.
On offense, Jahan Dotson reminds me a lot of Steelers WR Diontae Johnson, on special teams he reminds me of Ted Ginn Jr. His versatility and potential will thrill offensive coordinators and play-callers. If he can end up with a receiver coach that stays on him every single play, Dotson has the potential to be a pro-bowl caliber receiver and return man. The Chiefs could use a guy like Dotson on the opposite side of JuJu Smith-Schuster. I believe the Patriots and Colts are two other teams that can bring out the best in Dotson. I have an early third-round grade on him, but I can see him going at end of the second. Dotson is a boom or bust prospect, it all just depends on where he ends up.
Ability to Separate: 8.25/10
Release/Top of Routes: 7.5/8
Route Running: 7/8
Contested Catch: 5.5/8
Hands + Catch Radius: 7.75/8
Speed + Control: 6.5/7
Natural Talent: 4/5
Final Rating: 82
Pro Comparison: Diontae Johnson mixed with Ted Ginn Jr.
Team Fits: Chiefs, Patriots, Colts
Draft Grade: Day 2 Pick
Draft Projection: Late Second Round