02 Sep Jahan Dotson, Penn State
4th Year Senior | 5’11” 184 lbs | Nazereth, Pennsylvania | 03/21/2000
Jahan Dotson is a smaller receiver who doesn’t have the best long speed, but possesses great hands and run after catch ability.
A three-sport letterman in football, basketball, and track, Jahan Dotson came to Penn State as a 4-star prospect. As a freshman, Dotson started out playing behind future Denver Bronco KJ Hamler in the slot. But he was pushed into action after outside WR Juwan Johnson went down. He was able to learn the intricacies of playing outside, where he made his first starts. He started every game his sophomore year, and his production grew, finishing third on the team in receptions (27), yards (488), and touchdowns (5). In 2020, Dotson started the season as the Nittany Lions’ top WR and he rose to the occasion; he finished as the co-leader in Big Ten receiving touchdowns (8) in 9 games last year, including multi-TD performances against Ohio State and Indiana.
Dotson entered his senior season in high school weighing only 155 lbs. His weight is a recurring disadvantage, as James Franklin talked about the need for him to build a Big Ten body. Now listed at 5’11”, 184, he certainly has put on some muscle. He lines up mostly as an X, but also aligns in the slot and is sent in motion. He was targeted all over the field because he can impact the game in different ways, totaling five TDs of 60 or more yards; some were deep targets downfield, while others were made by his athleticism in open grass. He gets used as a blocker more often than the receiver on screens. However, his performance in this area is inconsistent. Dotson served as one of the team’s punt returners and had one touchdown in 2020.
- Reliable hands that can pluck passes outside of his frame
- Above-average athlete with good lateral quickness and short term burst
- Flashes good footwork at the snap and has an adequate double move on the release
- Crisp, sharp breaks in his short routes. Able to lose trailing defenders downfield with subtle cuts on posts and corners. Can sell double moves well and produce on them
- Can run under the ball and is natural at winning contested catches by timing his jumps despite his smaller frame
- Is comfortable as a ball-carrier, possessing above-average vision as a receiver and a returner
- Very agile runner who uses his acceleration and his athleticism to force missed tackles
Areas To Improve:
- His smaller size consistently gets him held up against physical press coverage disrupting route timing
- Likely to go down on first contact after the catch; susceptible to getting brought down by arm tackles
- Long speed is not ideal for someone of his smaller frame. Defenders can catch up to him on long runs after the catch
- Shows effort and grit as a blocker, but is usually slow with his hands and loses battles because he is not proactive in his blocks
- Inconsistent timing on his hand swipes occasionally leads to trouble on his release
- 2016 (HS Senior) – Compound leg fracture (unspecified)
Jahan Dotson has proven hands and his athleticism makes him a threat as a ball-carrier. He is a technical route runner and is capable of fooling defenders when he has room to work. Without blazing speed and below-average strength, Dotson’s athleticism will be his primary way to get himself open and make plays with the ball. He has to improve against physical press coverage, a constant area of concern since his underclassman days. Ultimately, Dotson only has one true year of production and he needs to show that he can continue to produce as he did in 2020. He currently projects as an impact slot receiver who may be able to move outside by year two. Right now, Dotson is a top-100 player but could become a first-rounder with a great senior season.
- From just outside of Philadelphia, Zach is a passionate fan of his Philly teams.
- A Rutgers graduate in 2017 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice & Psychology, and then Winthrop University in 2019 with a M.S. in Sport & Fitness Administration.
- In 2018, he was an assistant football coach for Chester High School, going undefeated and winning the state championship during his time there.