Editor’s Note: As our coverage of the 2016 NFL Draft and its impact on fantasy football continues, we bring you our 2016 Rookie SWOT series. These articles will feature video highlights, combine reviews, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, short-term expectations, long-term expectations and rookie draft advice for over 30 of the best dynasty league prospects from this year’s draft. We’ll follow that up with team-by-team draft reviews because, you know, that’s kind of what we live for.
Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by staying up on all these articles, checking out our rookie draft guide, rookie rankings, rookie draft cheat sheet and mock draft rooms. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football enthusiasts.
Name: Josh Doctson
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro team: Washington Redskins
College team: TCU
Draft Status: Round One, Pick #22 overall
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
Weight: 202 LBS
Hands: 9 7/8”
Arm Length: 31 7/8”
Bench Press (225 LBS): 14 Reps
40-Yard-Dash: 4.5 Seconds
3-Cone-Drill: 6.84 Seconds
20-Yard-Shuttle: 4.08 Seconds
Vertical Jump: 41 Inches
Broad Jump: 131 Inches
- Great hands coupled with height and catch radius make him a good red zone threat
- Excellent body positioning and high-points the ball well
- Good route-runner with the footwork to match it
- Can work the sidelines well, but isn’t afraid to go over the middle
- Wins contested catches with hand-strength and competitive will
- Above-average speed, and good with the ball in his hands after the catch
- Comes back to the ball well and knows how to help his quarterback on broken plays
- His age (23)
This goes against everything I believe in, but his number one “weakness” for dynasty purposes has to be his age given the consensus stance on Kelvin Benjamin entering the league. Doctson turns 24 on December 23rd, and is no spring chicken.
- Needs to bulk up and add strength if he’s going to beat NFL press coverage (NFL corners will not be giving him the kind of cushion he’s accustomed to)
This is his most glaring weakness. If you check the tape, you will see him from time to time getting beaten up by pressing corners getting physical with him causing him to disappear from plays. If he can add 10-15 LBS without jeopardizing his speed and agility, he’ll be golden, but that remains an “if.”
- Must improve his hips and the fluidity of his routes to be team’s a number one receiver in the NFL
- Needs to improve as a run-blocker, which should come with added strength
Overall Skill Set
Doctson was the third receiver taken in this year’s NFL Draft and for good reason. He has the size and speed combo you look for in a number one receiver at the pro level, and has exceptional, strong hands he consistently uses to catch the ball away from his body with. He’s not as strong as he should be for his size and won’t be breaking too many tackles unless he adds to his frame, but he has great vision and will make would-be tacklers miss in the open field. He benefited from a lot of open space in college, and was rarely pressed, but the tape shows he struggled with it when he was. He’ll need to get stronger and more physical against press coverage to be featured at the next level because he will not be enjoying the cushions he was at TCU. If he can bulk up a little while maintaining his speed and agility, he’ll be the real deal.
I’ve heard a lot of (greatly uninformed) chatter that Pierre Garçon might be let go before the 2016 season, but ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim reported yesterday (May 3) that he fully expects Garçon to stick on the roster, which makes perfect sense. Washington has done most of the spending we expect them to this off-season and it wouldn’t make any sense for them to send a totally capable veteran receiver packing who actually managed to put together a half-way decent stat line just last season (72 Receptions for 777 Yards and six touchdowns). Doctson will enter training camp as the Redskins’ WR4 behind Garçon, DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder. While I really like Crowder as an up-and-coming slot receiver and think Garçon will again be a reliable-handed receiving option for Kirk Cousins in 2016, I think it will be tough to keep Doctson off the field. To that end, I think it is fairly likely we see Doctson taking over Washington’s WR2 duties for Garcon before long, with Crowder handling slot duties. Could it be as early as this season?
The biggest threat to Doctson’s dynasty value is the play of Kirk Cousins. If Cousins plays at a high-level and becomes a mainstay of the Washington offense, Doctson should be in good shape. However, if Cousins’ play is inconsistent and the offense sputters, Doctson’s team could before long be just another without an answer at quarterback. And, allow me to let you in on a little secret – a team with a question mark at the helm of their offense tends not to help their receivers’ fantasy production.
All that said, I am expecting Doctson to quietly put together a solid rookie campaign. However, I’d be surprised if his stats were anything to write home about. I do expect Cousins to be a gunslinger again in 2016, but DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed will be firmly ahead of Doctson in the pecking order, and he’ll still have to contest with Garçon and Crowder for targets—especially early on. Oh, and did I mention the Redskins picked up veteran tight end Vernon Davis this off-season, and that they’ll likely be getting Niles Paul back in time for the preseason? Though Paul’s returning from a gruesome ankle injury and Davis last looked to have about as much left in the tank as a fifth-grader who just finished running a marathon backwards, they still add to what looks to be a pretty long line of pass catchers. When the 2016 season is all said and done, I think Doctson will have established himself as the Skins’ number two receiver behind Jackson. I wouldn’t be comfortable relying on Doctson as anything more than my WR5/6 with potential spot-start flex upside at times this season, and would be elated if his rookie stat line were something like 60 receptions for 800 yards and five touchdowns (i.e., I consider this to be his “ceiling” projection for 2016).
If you’re drafting Doctson in your rookie draft, you probably aren’t doing so with solely short-term gains in mind. Despite our collective excitement in the fantasy community over Cousins last year, Doctson’s value will likely take a little time to develop. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon’s contracts both expire at the end of the 2016 season, which opens the doors wide open for Doctson. Though I do think the Redskins move on from Garçon after next season, I do not think they will be looking to part ways with Jackson (which I think will help Doctson). Jackson will be a nice complement to Doctson as he plays a different style game and I think the two will benefit from one another as Doctson’s career takes off while Jackson’s winds down. It’s difficult to predict anything more than a couple of years out in the NFL, and tough to say what trajectory Cousins’ career is likely to take, but I believe Doctson has the potential to become a big-time WR1 at the NFL level in time and he has a very high ceiling long-term. As long as Washington’s quarterback play is stable and Doctson improves his strength, you’ll be very pleased to have spent your rookie draft pick on him.
I have seen a few different comparisons for Doctson. Most recently I saw Terrance Williams and Jordan Matthews mentioned by NFL Network analysts as comps. I definitely can’t see the Williams comparison and think the person responsible for drawing that conclusion went solely off of a few combine measurables and nothing more. That said, I don’t think the Matthews call is too far off. However, the names that came quickly to mind for me were Dez Bryant, Justin Blackmon and Miles Austin—all of whose respective NFL Combine 40-yard-dash times were within .05 seconds of Doctson’s, and within one inch of Doctson’s height. And, the other measurables are pretty similar between those three and Doctson as well. Bryant is a much more muscular player, so he’s not the best comparison based upon Doctson’s number one weakness. Furthermore, Blackmon, Bryant, and Matthews all enjoyed greater statistical success at the college level, so it’s really tough to gauge. At the end of the day, my assumption is Doctson will put up Jeremy Maclin-type numbers in the NFL, but look like Justin Blackmon doing so (before his departure from the league).
Projected Range for a Rookie Draft
This is the tricky part. Here at DLF, we have Doctson ranked fourth overall amongst 2016 rookies (behind Ezekiel Elliot, Corey Coleman and Laquon Treadwell). However, the ten most recent Rookie Mock Drafts referenced here on our site show Doctson’s ADP to be 2.9, meaning that as of today we expect him to be taken either second or third overall in most rookie drafts. What does this mean for you? Well, unless you play with a bunch of noobs, my assumption is you will not be able to draft Doctson this year any later than the 1.3. There are a couple of other interesting options that could sneak up there in a draft here or there to push Doctson down (namely Michael Thomas and Sterling Shepard), but the drafts in which those players go ahead of Doctson will be few and far between. So, if you are currently anywhere outside of the top three picks in your rookie draft and dead set on drafting Doctson, my advice to you is that you find a way to move up. Otherwise, find another receiver to fall in love with.
- Rookie Draft Picks and Trade Value: How to Value the 1.03 - March 2, 2017
- Rookie Draft Picks and Trade Value: How to Value the 1.02 - February 15, 2017
- Rookie Draft Picks and Trade Value: How to Value the 1.01 - February 7, 2017