Jahan Dotson has already made a strong first impression on the Washington Commanders, but the former Penn State Football standout is about to get a big opportunity to shine.
As Commanders star wide receiver Terry McLaurin opted to skip Washington’s mandatory minicamp this week, and his status for reporting to training camp uncertain, Dotson is about to get an extended run with the first-team offense.
For any rookie, especially a first-round NFL Draft choice, any practice snaps with the starting quarterback are invaluable during the spring and summer.
Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz has loved what he’s seen from Dotson, so far.
“He catches the football as natural as anybody I’ve been around, just how natural he plucks it out of the air,” Wentz said Wednesday following practice. “I got a lot of high expectations for him just as a rookie to just continue to keep growing, learning and understanding the bigger picture of this game. I think he’s doing a really good job of where he is at right now.”
McLaurin’s absence serves to be Dotson’s gain, just as Dotson’s presence on the roster gives the Commanders leverage in their contract talks with their star wide receiver.
Prior to being chosen No. 16 overall by the Commanders this spring, Dotson hauled in a career-high 91 receptions for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns, while averaging 13 yards per reception, in his final season in a Nittany Lions uniform. If the Commanders trade McLaurin — which is seemingly a possibility, especially to a team such as the Chicago Bears or Indianapolis Colts, who each have a need for a game-breaking receiver, it’s entirely plausible Dotson emerges as Washington’s top wide receiver. So far this spring, it isn’t just Wentz who has been impressed by Dotson’s playmaking ability. <<BUY PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS GEAR>> Cornerback Kyle Fuller, one of the premier players at his position, has been tasked with covering Dotson in drills and full-team periods during practice this spring. Fuller believes Dotson could make an immediate impact.
“With Jahan, he has a sense of comfort that he comes out here with, his comfort, his confidence, his talent,” Fuller said. “He went first round for a reason. But [I’ve noticed] definitely how comfortable and confident he’s been coming out here.”
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