Jahan Dotson has Tyreek Hill potential in Eric Bieniemy's Commanders offense

Big things could be coming for Jahan Dotson in 2023.

Jahan Dotson and Eric Bieniemy
Jahan Dotson and Eric Bieniemy / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Jahan Dotson has the potential to be Eric Bieniemy's version of Tyreek Hill in the Washington Commanders' offense.

Not many NFL wide receivers compare to Tyreek Hill, but Jahan Dotson can carry the same level of threat for the Washington Commanders in coordinator Eric Bieniemy's offense. Specifically, the dynamic wide receiver can become a big-play specialist from the slot.

Playing inside more often won't be a problem for Dotson in Bieniemy's system. The play-caller regularly unleashed Hill from the slot during his stint as offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Replicating what he had in Kansas City won't be easy for Bieniemy, who worked with more talent for the Chiefs. Yet there are intriguing possibilities, including tight end Cole Turner taking on a Travis Kelce-like role.

Letting Dotson build on an impressive preseason by deploying him the same way Bieniemy used Hill - then JuJu Smith-Schuster last season - is another way for the Commanders to become Chiefs-lite.

And that isn't a bad thing whatsoever.

Commanders WR Jahan Dotson needs more slot snaps

The key to unlocking Dotson's X-factor potential is giving him more slot snaps. He played just 121 snaps in the slot as a rookie, according to Player Profiler. That number is a far cry from the 331 slot snaps Hill got during his final season with the Chiefs in 2021.

Hill is the premier deep threat in the NFL. But most of his success in Bieniemy's offense came from the inside, rather than the perimeter, per Pro Football Focus.

Running a true speedster from the inside creates favorable matchups against slot cornerbacks lacking the speed to play outside. The ploy also lets a burner attack directly against safeties trying to cover the deep halves of the field.

There are ample reasons to believe Dotson will turn those matchups into Hill-level production.

Jahan Dotson can be Commanders WR1 from the inside

Stretching the field from between the numbers won't be a problem for Dotson. He's been doing it for fun during two preseason games when he's tallied seven catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Dotson's score came against the Cleveland Browns when he pushed coverage vertically from the slot.

This was no mere shallow crosser or drag route. Instead, it was a progressive pattern from a receiver with deceptive quicks and a nifty range of movement.

Dotson won't ever match Hill for speed, although Washington's first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft is no slouch. What the 5-foot-11, 184-pound Penn State can offer is a similar physical profile to the current Miami Dolphin.

Bieniemy has no trouble designing plenty of plays to give Dotson a free release on the inside. It's what happened for this gain during their recent 29-28 preseason win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Both of these catches show the respect defenses have for Dotson's speed. This prevents No. 1 from getting jammed at the line of scrimmage, but it isn't the only way for Bieniemy to keep his pass-catcher clean.

Stacked sets were a favorite concept of Bieneimy's when he was helping draw up plays for the Chiefs. Overloading one side of the opposing defense with multiple pass-catchers able to flood coverage created easy pitch-and-catch situations for quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his receivers.

One of the best examples saw Smith-Schuster burn the San Francisco 49ers for a touchdown in Week 7. The wideout began stacked in the slot next to in-line tight end Kelce, with wideout Mecole Hardman going in motion to join them.

The Niners were forced to play off and sit in a passive zone against numerous receivers breaking in different directions. Now, imagine this play with Dotson stacked next to Turner and Curtis Samuel going in motion.

Dotson's speed and shiftiness will get him wide open almost every time if he's not disrupted coming out of his breaks. Deploying his speed inside more often is the best way to manufacture big plays the Commanders' passing attack led by quarterback Sam Howell needs to succeed.

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