2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jahan Dotson

Jahan Dotson was a four-star recruit coming out of Nazareth Area High School. The receiver was ranked as the 192nd recruit in the nation, 36th ranked receiver, and sixth-ranked recruit in Pennsylvania. After being a three-sport athlete in high school (basketball, football, track), his skills from all three transferred to the college game. He had a great career with Penn State as he ranks third all-time for receiving touchdowns (23) at Penn State and had 10 career 100-yard receiving games, which is tied for second all-time at Penn State. Dotson also owns the Penn State single-season record for punt return average with a 24.6-yard average in 2020 and he set the Penn State single-game receiving record with 242 yards on November 7, 2021. He was named a semifinalist for both the Walter Camp Player of the Year and the Biletnikoff Award for his senior season.

Overall for his career, Dotson pulled down 183 receptions for 2,757 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also had two rushing touchdowns in his career. 2021 was above and beyond his best season, as he passed 1,000 receiving yards (1,182) for the first time and caught 12 touchdowns. Dotson started four games as a freshman before becoming a full-time starter in 2019 and immediately became a fan favorite.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio 

Name: Jahan Dotson
Jersey: No. 5
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Penn State
Class: Senior
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 183 lbs
Games Watched: Auburn (2021), Ilinois (2021), Michigan (2021), Ohio State (2021), Ohio State (2020), Iowa (2020)

Major Injury History: None

Player Breakdown 

Hands/Ball Security (9.75/10)

Dotson had very few dropped passes in his college career, including just two drops over 138 targets in his senior year. Along with that, he shows tremendous ability to bring the ball into his body. He has a strong grip that allows him to make almost every catch while being able to high-point the ball. There were a number of occasions in which Dotson made highlight-reel catches, like going up with one hand in Odell Beckham Jr. fashion.


Contested Catch (8.5/10)

Despite his smaller size, Dotson can make a number of terrific catches in traffic. He won’t be able to win every 50-50 battle and his size might get him pushed off the ball. But his leaping ability and great hands help him to make great catches even in double coverage. He knows how to attack the catch point and keep his concentration through contact. 


Tracking/Body Control (9/10)

Dotson never takes his eyes off the ball and his hands naturally follow. Having solid hand-eye coordination is a very important trait for receivers and Dotson excels there. Along with adjusting to deep balls, he makes sure to position his hands in the right spot to make the catch. He also has elite body control that helps him make circus catches and contort his body in the air.

Route Running (8.75/10)

Dotson is one of the best route-runners in the country with his craftiness and twitchiness. There is not a single route that he doesn’t sell with his whole frame. He uses very precise double moves that force defenders to commit and get them knocked off the route. His speed also helps him in running routes and he uses head fakes on double moves.

Separation (8.5/10)

Dotson can create a natural separation that goes with his solid route running. He has loose hips that allow him to break off the route. His ability to run vertically creates chances for him to break off a route and come back to the quarterback. He always keeps the play alive and tries to get into open space for his quarterback to find him.

Release (8.5/10)

The release package Dotson works with leads to many wins at the line of scrimmage. His footwork is phenomenal as he works his way upfield and creates space with the defender. He uses his quick hands as an advantage as well, to rip through contact at the line. At times, his physicality isn’t fully consistent which could get him pushed off in the contact window. But for the most part, Dotson has a quick release and will run through contact.

Run After the Catch (8/10)

Being a smaller receiver, he obviously doesn’t own the same physical threat as bigger receivers. But his elusiveness and burst lead him to pick up several yards after the catch. Dotson has a twitchiness that forces missed tackles and broken ankles. On top of that, defenders will want to get him down before he races his way to the end zone.

Vertical Speed (9.75/10)

A former track star, Dotson was one of the faster receivers in the nation. While an unofficial number, he was clocked at running a 4.33 40-yard dash prior to the season. His quickness makes him a legitimate deep threat as he can put defenders in his dust. The NFL Combine will be big for him as he can show off his speed and abilities on routes.

Burst/Acceleration (4/5)

He has a huge burst off the LOS and flies past defenders on his routes. Dotson can make great cuts without losing speed. He uses the burst to be a quality punt returner as well. In a second, Dotson can be downfield and running for a long touchdown. Every time a defender misses a tackle on him, they will regret it as that could be it.

Athleticism (3.75/5)

Dotson gets points taken off for his lack of size, but he makes up for it with his speed and agility. DeVonta Smith was getting similar knocks on him last year for his size. But he wound up having a great rookie season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Dotson is a similar type of receiver, but is a little slower and is an inch shorter.

Blocking (3.75/5)

He can sometimes be lackadaisical on blocking on the perimeter. But for the most part, Dotson is physical on opening up space for the ball carrier. He doesn’t always stick to the block downfield, opening up space for the defender to make a tackle. But nonetheless, blocking is mostly secondary for receivers.

Versatility (5/5)

Dotson was seen all over the field for Penn State, at the X, Y, and Z receiver positions, and he took snaps lined up as the running back. His versatility oozed out everywhere to create confusion for the defense on assignments. He also threw a pass on a trick play against Ohio State this season and adds punt return value.

Player Summary 

It was a bit of a surprise to see Dotson skip out on the Senior Bowl. It was a chance for him to bump up his stock to serious first-round consideration, but there is enough tape on him already. The combine will be another chance for his stock to be bumped up. Dotson has all the makings of being a star receiver at the next level. He still produced at a high level despite poor quarterback play. With a starting-caliber NFL quarterback, Dotson should shine. With all his talent, he is first-round caliber, but this receiver class is very stacked.

Rookie Projections: Starter

Third Year Projections: Potential WR1 or WR2

Final Grade (87/100): Late First-Round Pick

Player Comp: DeVonta Smith

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