The Washington Commanders entered the offseason looking to upgrade their weapons offensively. They have a solid core with wide receiver Terry McLaurin, running back Antonio Gibson and tight end Logan Thomas, but need a little more to help take things to that next level.
Re-signing J.D. McKissic will certainly help, as the Commanders held off the Buffalo Bills in their pursuit of him. Getting Curtis Samuel healthy would certainly help take some pressure off of McLaurin, who has been No. 1, 2 and 3 on the opposing team’s gameplans on who to stop in the passing game.
The team is hoping that starts to change this season with the addition of Jahan Dotson. Dotson was selected in the first round by Washington, No. 16 overall. With McLaurin not with the team, as he awaited a resolution to his contract situation and an abundance of caution being used with Samuel, Dotson has been given a great opportunity with the first team and is making the most of it.
New starting quarterback Carson Wentz has been very complimentary of Dotson and has been impressed in the early going. He was impressed by how naturally Dotson caught the ball, something that fits the pre-draft profile Dotson had.
During his time at Penn State, he was lauded for his catch radius and strong hands, which will be used to his advantage at the next level. Those traits and his work ethic will help Dotson make up for his lack of size, as he stands only 5’11”.
“It’s more of a mindset thing,” Dotson said, via Ben Standig of TheAthletic.com. “As you can tell, I’m not the biggest guy. I don’t have insane measurables. . . . When the ball is up in the air, it’s mine. I said a while ago in college: When the ball is up in the air, I [see] it as a million dollars. I’m trying to go get that money. I love money, so I’m trying to get it.”
If Dotson can hold onto that mindset, he is going to find plenty of success in the NFL despite his less-than-ideal size. He won’t be an imposing force like some of the other young wide receivers emerging around the league, but his skill set and attention to detail are what will separate him.
The former Nittany Lion has made a great impression with the work he has put in for the Commanders thus far. He has put himself in a position to lock down a prominent role in the passing game during the regular season as a result.