WR Jahan Dotson, Penn St.

5’11” – 184 lbs.

Background:

Has a track background. Caught 13-203-0 (15.6) as a freshman, and role has expanded ever since: had a 27-488-5 (18.1) line as a sophomore, escalated his production to 52-884-8 (17.0) in a more substantial junior year, and then broke out this past season with 91-1,182-12 (13.0) to close out his collegiate career.

Positives:

Productive receiver with a favorable trajectory. Took snaps inside and outside on both sides of the field. Did a lot of work on the middle of the field, usually some shorter digs/hitches off of inside releases, or over routes. Was manufactured opportunities to get the ball in space on screens, reverses, and other plays of that nature. Nice quick feet at the line of scrimmage to releases against press. Smooth accelerator with enough speed to get respect from defenses and open up his shorter routes. Sinks hips into the route stem, with sharp cuts to create separation; doesn’t need to shift down when getting into and out of breaks. Leaping ability and body control somewhat make up for his lack of ideal size; pretty acrobatic player who can go up and get high passes on slants, posts, etc. Adjusts to throws away from his frame; looks effective at catching back-shoulder throws down the sidelines. Uses frame to shield on shorter throws. Competitive toughness looks good; can take a hit and hang onto a throw. Doesn’t waste time getting upfield after the catch and is able to find little spaces in the defense for a few extra yards after the catch.

Negatives:

Size is on the lower end for a boundary receiver; may be considered primarily a slot option by some teams. Can be knocked off of his spots when cornerbacks get physical with him. Will settle into coverage sometimes against zone. More quick than he is explosive; did a lot of his damage on short-to-intermediate throws. Didn’t get a ton of separation down the sidelines against man in the games reviewed. Some double-catching. Can have trouble coming down with contested throws. Not a particularly aggressive or physical blocker.

Summary:

A quick, competitive receiver with solid route-running skills and good body control, Dotson put together a monster season last year in terms of statistical output, although based on the games reviewed, it seemed like a lot of that came on catches in gaps between zones. Considered by many to be a potential first-round pick, his overall draft stock will depend to some extent on how confident teams are that he can beat man coverage and threaten defenses deep down the sidelines.

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