Arguably one of the best receivers to grace the Big Ten, Jahan Dotson has not only produced numbers with the Nittany Lions but also produced big time highlights consistently throughout his career. He’s a big play receiver with strong hands who can make contested catches despite his lack of size and frame, and he’s done it consistently. While his size doesn’t project him well as a boundary X receiver, he can be a very productive Z receiver in most any scheme across the NFL.
Z WR – #5 Penn State
Year: Redshirt Junior
High School: Nazareth Area (Nazareth, PA)
HS Rating: 4 star (0.9228)
Phil Steele: PS#19
Jahan Dotson Scouting Report
Very quick and fast. Excellent athlete. Has a good quick burst and accelerates into it well, but it isn’t sustainable throughout the route. Explosive athlete – he was the key player on the Penn State offense in 2021. While his feet are pretty clean while making fakes and cuts, I don’t see Dotson doing too much to sell his fakes with his upper body.
Smooth release. Does a great job of setting the defender up to get his positioning for the route. Excellent sideline footwork. Very aware. Even sliding, manages to stay inbounds. Jahan Dotson has an incredible set of hands. Strong hands, incredible catch radius, more than capable of making big highlight catches. Strong vertical ability, I think he might jump up too often at times to secure a catch, even when he doesn’t have to. Opens himself up for a lot of unnecessary punishment.
Shows good ability to catch with a defender all over him. Very strong at the catch point despite his lack of frame. Has hit on deep balls before, but oftentimes struggled to locate the ball. Certainly has the ability to pick up yardage after the catch, but lacks the contact balance and field vision that some of the prospects have.
What we want to see from Jahan Dotson in Mobile
- While watching Penn State film, it’s clear to see that Dotson was held back by inadequate quarterback play his entire career with the Nittany Lions. We want to see if the quarterback adjustment makes any difference to the performance of Dotson. Bad quarterback play allows us to see how willing and able a receiver is to make catches, but can distort the picture of how the player wants to play. We want that picture to be cleared up in Mobile.
- Dotson’s route running looked a little bit raw while watching him at Penn State. Again, bringing the quarterback into it, was that because of his technique or because of how he had to play with Sean Clifford? Receivers work with quarterbacks to make them as comfortable as they can. Cliffords direction could have taken Dotson off track.
Pre-Senior Bowl projection
Jahan Dotson best projects as a second receiver in almost any scheme in the NFL. His schematic versatility is what helps him as NFL teams analyze his ability. While it’s a legitimate question about how his frame will hold up in the NFL, his big play and clutch catch ability allows him to become a serious threat almost immediately.
We project Dotson fitting into an NFL scheme as a #3 receiver immediately and could be a #2 receiver on some wide receiver needy teams. He should be a day one starter in the NFL. We like him as a first round talent.