Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson enters the 2022 NFL Draft and presents a big play in a small package. His versatility and explosive nature will endear him to several teams across various systems.
Height: 5-foot-10 1/2
Weight: 178 pounds
40 time: 4.43 seconds
The true senior improved each year at Penn State as his opportunities increased, concluding with second-team All-Big Ten and third-team Associated Press All-American honors. Dotson also generated third-team All-Big Ten recognition for his junior season.
*includes postseason/bowl games
In addition to showing growth each season in Happy Valley, Dotson also completed a couple of passes on trick plays and contributed in the return game, scoring once in 2020 on eight punt returns. He tacked on 104 yards on 14 returns in 2021.
- Dangerous, productive and experienced from all three levels of the route tree
- Unafraid to go over the middle of the field — especially useful for play-callers who emphasize mesh routes to send him crossing with a hint of added confusion
- Can hit the gas pedal with the best of ’em — he tends to vary his routes to show multiple speeds, which can catch defenders napping
- Fluidity in the open field makes for a difficult tackle
- Experienced, successful punt returner
- Excellent leaping ability and high-point skills for someone of his size
- Works the boundary lines effectively, especially in the red zone
- Tremendous hands — credited with only two drops over 138 targets in 2021
- Fits into nearly any offensive scheme
- Physicality at the line can get him off of his route
- Footwork could be crisper in and out of breaks
- Below-average consistency in his blocking effort — size limitations also play a role, but he needs more coaching in this area
- Size could make him more susceptible to injuries over the middle
Fantasy football outlook
As mentioned, system fit isn’t going to be an issue. Team fit will be more important based on existing personnel, but it shouldn’t take more than a year or two before Dotson establishes himself as an starting-caliber talent at the next level.
Some of the critiques thrown at him can be considered nitpicking, especially when it comes to immutable traits, such as size. Small receivers have been quite capable of producing fantasy-relevant stats in the right situations. Yes, size presents unique drawbacks, but he should not be written off because of it.
It will be rather surprising if he falls out of Round 1 in the upcoming draft. If this happens, it’s more of a product of a deep receiver class than an indictment of his talent. Likely landing spots include Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Arizona, New England and Detroit.
Dotson’s game reminds a little bit of 2021 first-rounder DeVonta Smith, whose size also drew similarly unfair criticisms. Seattle wideout Tyler Lockett might be the better comparison.
Either way, we’re talking about a likely No. 2 in real life. Dotson has comparable long-term value in fake football once he learns a starting role. As a rookie, depending upon where he ends up, we could see inconsistent utility, best reserved for daily fantasy action.