Well Commanders fans, I was just as shocked as you were when I heard the news that the Washington Commanders were taking Penn State’s Jahan Dotson at No. 16 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.
For those of you that haven’t kept up with my work, I recently wrote a piece about the Commanders’ wide receiver options on Day 2, but I specifically left out Dotson because I figured he would’ve been gone by pick No. 47.
My prediction was correct, but in no way was it for the reason that became. Let’s discuss the Commander’s first round in totality, and break down each aspect from both the trade back and the selection from Thursday night.
Let’s start with the trade-back scenario.
The Commanders ended up trading back five spots with the New Orleans Saints in a package that I felt was a solid RBI-double for Washington.
Grabbing a third and an extra fourth-round pick in a draft that is littered with third and fourth-round talent makes too much sense. For starters, I only had about 20-22 first-round grades this year, but I have a plethora of third-round grades throughout this crop of athletes.
From guys like Chad Muma and Darrian Beavers, to Nick Cross and Alec Pierce, the Commanders are in great shape to add some immediate impact players on day two and day three with the acquisition of their third and fourth-round picks from New Orleans.
They did, however, lose out on my WR1 in Chris Olave and they passed on the medicals of Jameson Williams, but outside of that, I don’t believe passing on Kyle Hamilton was as big of a deal as some made it, considering they have their “Buffalo Nickel” on the roster, in star DB Kamren Curl.
This trade back was very good, not great, but good enough to warrant a B+ from me on the decision to make a deal with NOLA’s finest. It would’ve received a higher grade if they were able to snag another day three pick this year, but for what it’s worth, moving back five spots with a team that ultimately didn’t take a QB in the deal, you cannot be mad at the value gained.
Analyzing the Jahan Dotson pick
I’ll be transparent in this portion, I was a bit shocked that the Commanders went with Penn State WR Jahan Dotson in round one. Not jaw-dropping, but shocked enough that I had to make sure I read my screen correctly a few times.
Here’s the thing: Washington is going to run a lot of four WR sets next season. They want to take advantage of the second and third level throws that the Air Coryell should be predicated on. With that, they need guys that can win at all three levels, that can especially win down the field and even create for themselves after the catch.
Entering Thursday, they only had one consistent threat that can win at all three levels, two players that can create after the catch and a lot of injury concerns and inconsistency across the board at the WR position. It made too much sense for them to add a receiver in the first round. That was absolutely the correct philosophy.
The execution of that philosophy does leave you questioning, though. Despite Dotson’s obvious talent, high-floor and immediate impact ability, selecting him at No. 16 overall was a bit too rich for my liking.
I had him personally as my WR6, with four first-round grades on the top four wideouts and four second-round grades on the next four pass-catchers that followed. With that said, here’s what’s good about the Dotson pick.