PRO 2022 Rookie Spotlight: Jahan Dotson, WR Penn State

Rookie Spotlight: Jahan Dotson, Penn State (photo via Penn State Athletic Department)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 178
Hands: 9 1/2″
Arm: 30 3/4″
40 yard dash: 4.43
NFL Comparison: Golden Tate, Diontae Johnson, Van Jefferson

College Production (Final Season)
31% team receptions
34% team receiving yards
48% team receiving TDs

Breakout Age: 20

Pros

– truly elite ability to get into his routes without losing momentum
– supremely adept at finding soft spots in zone coverage and exploiting them to help his QB
– unexpected ability to extend and snatch the football despite somewhat slighter stature
– sticky hands and obvious playmaker mentality
– fearless
– shifts gears in a flash
– excellent body control

Cons

– has tested with a very fast 40-time but he doesn’t necessarily win like you’d expect a 4.3 burner to win
– lack of prototypical size and length
– while not a chronic body-catcher, can occasionally let the ball into his body
– plays outside a lot in college, but looks a lot more like a slot weapon at the NFL level
– good after-catch with his shakes, but not much of a tackle-breaker
– has good speed to compete vertically, but not a complete take-the-top-off player or sideline contested-catch specialist

Scouting Notes: Versatile player who can line up all over the field; Penn State coaching staff went to great lengths to design ways to get the ball in his hands. Former high school 4-star recruit who got better through each season at Penn State, and who finished his career as a Nittany Lion (while sitting out his bowl game) as one of the top WRs in school history among others like Allen Robinson and Chris Godwin. His best attribute by far is his ability to change direction and completely own the transition point at the stems of his routes. This allows him to separate with ease through athleticism, burst and agility rather than just pure football-smarts and nuance. For this reason, we expect him to continue to grow as a route-runner as his ceiling does not appear capped in this realm from an athletic perspective. He may struggle as an outside alpha-type at the NFL level. While he has reportedly run 40-yard-dashes in the 4.33-range (hand-timed), we don’t really see him as a lid-lifter as much as a really smooth and fluid route-running savant who can get loose for big plays downfield as well in the mold of a Van Jefferson-type.

Fantasy Outlook: With such a perceived treasure trove of junior declares for the 2022 NFL draft at the receiver position, Dotson may go overlooked until the mid-to-late second round of traditional 1QB dynasty rookie drafts. He’ll be somewhat team-dependent, but certainly represents an intriguing option in that range of early drafts. We’ll gather more intel through the Senior Bowl and Combine, but, at the start of the process, Dotson has all the looks of one of the top overall seniors in the class, and a Day 2 draft slotting is certainly well within the range of reasonable possibilities. That kind of draft capital coupled with Dotson’s translatable NFL traits would certainly make him a very appealing option for 2022 dynasty and redraft leagues alike.

From the Penn State Athletic Department: 

Career: Ranks third all-time at Penn State in career receiving touchdowns (23), fourth in receiving yards (2,620) and fourth in receptions (175)…Is one of 10 Nittany Lions to reach the 2,000 career receiving yards mark…Owns 10 career 100-yard receiving games, tied for second all-time at Penn State…Ranks sixth all-time at Penn State with a 14.6 punt return average

Season: Records Set: Owns the Penn State single season record for punt return average (24.6; 2020)…Tied the Penn State record with five touchdown catches in first three games, matching Joe Jurevicius (1997). 2021: Became the sixth Penn State wide receiver to record a 1,000 yard receiving season (1,045). 2020: Finished tied for 11th in a single season at Penn State for receiving touchdowns (8), 13th in receiving yardage (884), and tied for 17th in receptions (52)…Became first Penn State player with at least one touchdown reception in each of the first three games of a season since Allen Robinson in 2013 (vs. Syracuse, Eastern Michigan, UCF)…Had 238 receiving yards through first two games of season, most by a PSU receiver since Geno Lewis (271; 2014) and most by a PSU receiver in first two Big Ten games of a season since Allen Robinson (257; 2013)…One of eight receivers (nine occasions) to have five 100-yard games in a season and the third to do so since 2000, joining Allen Robinson (8; 2013), Bryant Johnson (5; 2001) and Chris Godwin (5; 2015).

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