Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera and General Manager Martin Mayhew spoke to the media as the 1st round of the 2022 NFL Draft was winding down. Washington was the first team in the NFL Draft to trade down. They traded the #11 pick for #16 and a 3rd and 4th round pick. Washington needed to get more picks in the middle rounds after trading their 3rd this year as part of the Carson Wentz trade, and missing their 5th round pick from a trade last year. Mayhew made it clear this was a priority that had been discussed over the last few days.
They had at least 3 more trade offers on the table at #16 when they drafted Penn State WR Jahan Dotson. Washington didn’t want to lose the opportunity to get Dotson by trading into the 20’s or 30’s of this draft. Mayhew also didn’t rule out trading down again tomorrow night to get more picks in this draft or possibly next year’s draft.
Jahan Dotson was a player that Washington barely interacted with during the pre-draft process. They sent WRs Coach Drew Terrell to meet him, but didn’t have many questions about his character. They love him as a player, and see a lot of Terry McLaurin in him. Washington loved his speed, his playmaking ability, and his competitiveness when the ball is in the air. He was highly rated on their board, and plays bigger than his size like DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith.
Ron Rivera on Jahan Dotson. Reminds him some of DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith: pic.twitter.com/SpDX17j98Z— John Keim (@john_keim) April 29, 2022
Night 1 = done. Mayhew on Dotson: “He’s kinda like Terry. He’s not the biggest guy, but the 50-50 balls, he can go up and get those” pic.twitter.com/RcGB2l4Ztt— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) April 29, 2022
Martin Mayhew says Dotson is "kind of like Terry in that he's not the biggest guy" but can play slot and outside. #Commanders— Locked On Commanders Podcast (@LOCommanders) April 29, 2022
Martin Mayhew on Jahan Dotson. First off, they liked him. "Speed, playmaking ability... competitive when the ball is in the air."— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) April 29, 2022
Ron Rivera says Dotson has a "tremendous catch radius" and reminds him of DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith in some ways.— Locked On Commanders Podcast (@LOCommanders) April 29, 2022
Can line up all over the place. Could be a fit at punt returner but doesn't sound like a major plan.
Ron Rivera says Jahan Dotson reminds him of DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith. Commanders offensive staff had Dotson graded high— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) April 29, 2022
Ron Rivera says they had Jahan Dotson "highly rated" but we're not getting a number. Offensive staff really liked him.— Locked On Commanders Podcast (@LOCommanders) April 29, 2022
"Very confident in his ability to learn and grow"
Rivera: teams knew Dotson was going to get the ball, and he made plays anyway.— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) April 29, 2022
Weve heard a lot about versatility but Rivera zeroed in on Dotson's interior route running as a great advantage. That means playing the slot.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) April 29, 2022
Ron Rivera found Jahan Dotson to be "composed" when he called and told Dotson he was the pick, and that's exactly how he was talking to us media folks too. Completely calm, very confident and likable— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) April 29, 2022
Dotson made PSU QBs better:
Quarterbacks often make receivers better, but at Penn State, Ron Rivera believes Jahan Dotson made their QB better by making some of the acrobatic catches he did— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) April 29, 2022
Martin Mayhew noted Dotson's character: "A lot of times we spend more time with guys because we have questions. A lot of times we're NOT spending more time with guys because we don't have questions. Jahan was that type of guy."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) April 29, 2022
Martin Mayhew said they were leaning moving back from No. 11 "at the very beginning" and conversations had been in the works for the past few days.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) April 29, 2022
Could have traded back again:
Martin Mayhew says the Commanders could have traded back again from 16 but that Jahan Dotson was “too valuable”— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) April 29, 2022
After trading with the Saints to move back to No. 16, Commanders GM Martin Mayhew said they could've moved back again in the first round if they wanted to. There was interest.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) April 29, 2022
Mayhew said as Washington turned the pick in for Dotson they had 3 teams call— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) April 29, 2022
Martin Mayhew said they had at least 3 offers to move back when they were at 16.— John Keim (@john_keim) April 29, 2022
Trading back on Day 2:
Mayhew said he feels the team has a good group of picks now, but he isn't ruling out trading back in Days 2 and 3— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) April 29, 2022
Getting weapons for Carson Wentz:
Ron Rivera: "We wanted to make sure there are weapons around Carson. ... As we go through this draft, we're keeping that in mind."— Ethan Cadeaux (@Ethan_Cadeaux) April 29, 2022
AJ Brown trade/new contact and the effect on Terry McLaurin:
On the new contract for AJ Brown, Ron Rivera says thats a different player/different style than Terry McLaurin. Rivera adds "we have started that process" with McLaurin. "We've talked"— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) April 29, 2022
Rivera said they have started negotiations with Terry McLaurin. Don't know how far along, but they are talking...— John Keim (@john_keim) April 29, 2022