The Washington Commanders‘ second round of OTAs are up and running and the takeaways are largely positive. While Terry McLaurin’s contract holdout is seemingly just getting started, the returns of Montez Sweat, who practiced in full, and Chase Young, who’s still rehabbing his ACL, served as a timely distraction.
Speaking of positive takeaways, Cole Holcomb has received rave reviews as he transitions to the middle linebacker role.
Additionally, Antonio Gibson has ripped a couple impressive runs, offensive line newcomers Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner are picking up the playbook in a fashion you’d expect from grizzled veterans, rookie Brian Robinson Jr. is sticking out and second-year pro Darrick Forrest is playing with a chip on his shoulder.
The biggest takeaway thus far, though, has been Jahan Dotson. The No. 16 overall pick turned heads during the first round of OTAs and that’s continued into the second week as he emerges as Carson Wentz’s go-to target in team drills.
Statistics aren’t logged during OTAs. That’ll come later training camp, but Dotson reportedly made several catches on Wednesday, including a touchdown during team drills after Wentz threaded the needle between two defenders.
Commanders rookie Jahan Dotson and QB Carson Wentz are showcasing a clear chemistry at OTAs.
The fact Dotson is already making catches in tightly-contested areas certainly validates the Terry McLaurin comparisons. The Penn State product will obviously have to prove it on Sunday’s in the fall, but this is a great start for the rookie.
According to The Athletic’s Ben Standig, Dotson had an impressive back-to-back sequence where he produced a catch-and-run on a pass from backup Taylor Heinicke before making a “head-high” grab from another Heinicke pass. The first-year receiver also made a snag working against William Jackson III.
On Tuesday, Wentz and Dotson connected on a 60-plus-yard deep ball. As one of the country’s premier deep threats at Penn State, Dotson figures to be a huge beneficiary of Wentz’s big arm deep-ball prowess, which is quietly elite.
Wentz and Dotson have been two of the Commanders’ biggest standouts at organized team activities thus far. Yes, there’s minimal contact and no pads, but OTAs are all about building chemistry and working out the kinks. With no McLaurin to dominate the target share, Dotson is putting his skills on display.
There’s a lot of summer left, but Commanders fans have to love what they’re seeing (or hearing) from Wentz and Dotson. If the early returns are carried out through minicamp, training camp and the preseason, then all signs point to the new QB-WR duo enjoying immediate success in their first year in DC.