The New England Patriots have long been considered one of the teams most likely to use a first-round draft choice on a wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft. After all, they have a potential star in the making with Mac Jones. In terms of filling a need in this wide receiver room, a speedster like Penn State’s Jahan Dotson makes a ton of sense.
Dotson may not be as high on everyone’s radar due to his size limitations at 5-11 and just over 180 pounds. Despite that, he was a game-changer with the Nittany Lions, often injecting a burst of speed and electricity as a ball-carrier to an offense that struggled with consistency.
While using their top pick on a cornerback that could eventually replace JC Jackson would make a ton of sense, it looks like New England is leaning fully into making Jones as productive as possible. After scouting Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore heavily, it seems like Bill Belichick is very interested in Dotson.
Patriots assistant Ross Douglas reportedly ran wide receiver drills at Penn State’s pro day. Between that development and the fact that Dotson met with the Patriots already, New England is showing a great deal of interest in the speedy Nittany Lion. Is he the pick at No. 21?
Will Jahan Dotson be drafted by the New England Patriots?
Dotson can separate at the line of scrimmage with ease even against press coverage that normally puts the clamps on receivers his size. With no issues about his hands, skill with regards to making plays as a runner, or ability to diagnose coverages pre and post-snap, Dotson shouldn’t have too tough of a transition to the pros.
Kendrick Bourne is a rock-solid receiver, but Nelson Agholor disappointed in his first season with New England. Jakobi Meyers can make some plays, but a lack of amazing athletic ability on his part prevents him from being a true No. 1 receiver. If Dotson hits, he could anchor the wide receiver room for a decade.
There’s a lot of Stefon Diggs in his game.
Dotson is still going to be a question mark from a physical point of view. His speed is great, but can you trust someone with his size and less than elite (although very good) explosion to win consistently on the outside? They might be concerned that 30% of his yards and 4 of his 12 touchdowns came in two games against Maryland and Villanova.
If the Patriots pass on him at No. 21, the expectation is that he will either be picked late in the first round or early in the second round. If the Patriots are so enticed by his separation ability and big-play threat, they need to run to the podium to make sure Dotson ends up in navy blue.