When the Washington Commanders take the field for the preseason opener Saturday against the Carolina Panthers, first-round pick Jahan Dotson will be one of the team’s starting receivers.
Dotson, chosen No. 16 overall after a historic Penn State Football career, was listed alongside Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel as a starting wide receiver on the team’s first unofficial depth chart.
Throughout OTAs and minicamp this spring and through the first three weeks of training camp, Dotson has been making a strong first impression on the Commanders’ coaching staff and his teammates.
“Very precise route runner, excellent hands, very sharp, very smart young man, hard worker,” Rivera told ESPN NFL writer Jeremy Fowler back in June, when asked about Dotson’s performance so far.
The former Nittany Lions star arrives in the Nation’s Capital after rewriting the program record books, setting the record for receiving yards in a single game (242 vs. Maryland in 2021), while finishing his career second all-time in receptions.
Dotson’s big play ability to get behind a defense, as well as his reliable hands, could make him an early favorite target of quarterback Carson Wentz.
Likewise, given the attention defenses must pay Terry McLaurin, Dotson should have plenty of opportunities underneath to make plays after the catch.
One of the smoothest route-runners in this year’s draft class, whether Dotson lines up in the slot, or split wide opposite McLaurin, his massive catch radius will be an asset to the Commanders’ vertical passing game.