Josh Doctson Fantasy
Despite having entered the 2016 NFL drafts with several glaring needs on the defensive side of the ball, the Washington Redskins pulled the trigger on former TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson. Redskins general manager Scott McCLoughan jumped on an opportunity to bring in Doctson in the first round, as he simply didn’t expect to see a player of his caliber fall into him at No. 22 overall.
“We’ve got a lot of good football players on the defensive line,” McCloughan said, via Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post. “I would have loved to add a younger guy, younger guys, but it didn’t work that way. We went into it and if you had told me the night before I’m taking a receiver in the first round, I would have laughed at you and said you’re crazy. But he was the best player. I don’t want to force the issue, but I understand where our depth is at. I understand who can and can’t play. We’re okay upfront. We’re okay.”
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Doctson averaged 4.07 yards per route run in 2015, the highest mark out of any receiver in this year’s class, and he put up the highest overall grade among all receivers in collegiate football in 2015.
No college WR earned a higher receiving grade than Washington 1st-rounder Josh Doctson in 2015. Caught 17 of 32 deep balls for 9 TDs, 0 INTs
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 4, 2016
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Doctson surprised a number of the league’s analysts with his 4.50-second 40-yard dash, and he continued to reveal his top-tier his explosiveness and athleticism in both the vertical jump (41”) and broad jump (131”).
“[Doctson is a] Pure technician,” according to an AFC wide receivers coach, via NFL.com. “He’s really good with those routes and he’s the best at getting it up top. When he got hurt, TCU was done. They looked lost without him. He’s a safe receiver in the first (round) and one of the only ones.”
In comparison to the first receiver of the board Corey Coleman, Doctson is an experienced, instinctive route runner that relies on his technique rather than his quickness to create separation. Doctson is a reliable pass-catcher who rarely lets the football hit the ground both when open and through traffic.
Doctson dropped just six of 84 (7.1 percent) catchable passes put in his direction in 2015, via PFF.com.
Also, Doctson carries his adept pass-catching ability when asked to attack the ball at it’s highest point through traffic, as he rarely came out of jump-ball situations without the football in his grasp.
— Top Pick Scouting (@TopPickScouting) April 11, 2016
At 6’2”, 202 pounds, Doctson has all the tools necessary to develop into a true red zone outside of tight end Jordan Reed for quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Redskins.
After leading the team with 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015, Reed signed a five-year, $50 million extension to stay in Washington May 5, 2016.In Washington, Doctson will likely play in a rotation at outside receiver with the Redskins’ top two wide outs DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, but given Jackson’s durability concerns and Garcon’s inability to find the end zone, Doctson could easily find himself in a significant role by the end of his rookie season.
Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay recently touched on Doctson’s ability to play his way into an increased snap count despite being listed behind Jackson and Garcon on the depth chart on ESPN 980.
“The great thing about it is we got a bunch of great players, and he’ll start out as an outside receiver, where he’ll play behind both Pierre and DeSean, and we’ll be able to groom him,” McVay said, via Stephen Czarda of Redskins.com. “And however well he does, he’ll earn that playing time if his play dictates that. He’s a guy that we’re very excited about.
Though it’s unlikely that Doctson draws value as a volume-catcher in PPR leagues because he will likely be Cousins’ fourth option behind Jackson, Garcon, and Reed, but he has upside in re-draft leagues because of his potential in the red zone. With a lot of the attention going to Reed in the middle of the field, Doctson could take advantage of some single coverage on the outside when asked to go up and get the football in the back of the end zone.
In dynasty leagues, Doctson should be one of the most coveted receivers in the draft, as he is in a position to take over as the No. 1 receiver with Cousins under center in the near future. Garcon is entering a contract year and likely won’t be re-signed, and Jackson’s underwhelming production during his tenure in Washington could have McLaughlin choosing to release him after the 2016 season given that the final year of his contract (2017) is voidable.
Look for Doctson to establish himself as a high-upside, exciting receiver in a limited role in 2016, but prepare for his rise to true fantasy relevance after Washington ultimately elects to pass down the keys to Doctson beyond his rookie year.