Jaylen Dotson: Defensive Back Inquiry

I wrote an article recently providing condensed overviews of my evaluations of several Class of 2021 prospects. Defensive Back Jaylen Dotson who plays currently for Our Lady of Good Counsel High School was one of the prospects included in the piece. Now after getting the chance to reach out to Jaylen Dotson I was able […]

I wrote an article recently providing condensed overviews of my evaluations of several Class of 2021 prospects. Defensive Back Jaylen Dotson who plays currently for Our Lady of Good Counsel High School was one of the prospects included in the piece. Now after getting the chance to reach out to Jaylen Dotson I was able to further my evaluation of him. As I presented Dotson with 4 questions to get a better understanding of his opinions of his game and the position he plays. This article will display Jaylen Dotson’s responses to these inquiries, and detail how they correlate to his play on the field. As well as, see how he envisions himself as a player.

The first question I posed to Dotson was, what does he see as strengths of his game as a defensive back? Dotson stated, “I consider my strengths, my intelligence in terms of knowing the game, situation, and down and distance.” This shows Dotson believes his ability to think the game is his biggest asset as a DB. Dotson displays this football IQ on film when playing in coverage. As he shows the ability to know when to jump a route, getting his hands on the ball often because of timing and positioning. Dotson also does a great job anticipating where the ball and his matchup is going on a play. While understanding the game situation and knowing how much space he must protect to deny first downs. This type of understanding of his position and situations in the game show how hard he works to study his opponents. Displaying his work ethic and the talent to then follow through and make the requisite plays.

The next inquiry I had dealt with what parts of his game wants to improve. Asking, what improvements he wants to make to his game to better himself as a player? Dotson responded, “I’m a speed guy and play outside corner most of the time. But when I’m needed to play nickel or in the box, I want to work on being more physical presence.” Also stating, “Wanting to be a surer tackler also.” These responses show how Dotson wants to be more physical at his position, as well as, continue to improve as a tackler. Dotson is a solid tackler, but the more he can improve in this area the more he can be trusted to play in the box and contribute in run defense. His speed on the outside will allow him when a runner breaks loose to chase them down. Plus, the better tackler he is the more he will be able to prevent big plays as the last line of defense. In terms of his physicality this can be helped by further maturing and bulking up this offseason to get bigger physically. That way he can be more aggressive when throwing his body around to make big hits as a defender. While in coverage situation he can be more effective in press coverage as he can be more assertive and physical with his hands at the line of scrimmage. This type of up in physicality will also allow him to be more of a major presence as a DB and becoming a player opponent are not excited to play.

The 3rd question I had for Dotson had to do with the types of coverages he plays. Asking, between man and zone coverage which does he consider himself better at, and why? Dotson described, “I feel I’m pretty strong in both. I enjoy being locked on 1 on 1in man and I am comfortable with it.” Continuing, “But zone gets you more picks being able to disguise and break on routes when QB thinks the receiver is open.” This shows Dotson has a good understanding of the benefits and tasks to accomplish in each coverage. While describing how he feels comfortable in both coverages but sees the big play opportunities more out of playing zone. Dotson clearly feels he can be more of a playmaker out of zone coverage because of the circumstances this coverage provides. He also sees how man coverage can show off your main physical skills and footwork technique as a DB. He was adamant that he can play both at a high level, though based on these answers by his accord more benefits come from zone. Having a defensive back that is comfortable in both man and zone does makes him a true every down corner. A corner with the versatility to be an impact player in either coverage, eliminating part of the field.

My final question was about the difference in value of pass breakups and turnovers forced. Posing the question, do you value pass breakups or individual turnovers forced more as a receiver? Dotson stated, “I get the importance of pass breakups, but I want to turn a loss of down into a turnover on first or second down.” Continuing, “I’m trying to get my hands on a few picks this season because I haven’t been able to get many in my career. I want to lock into the defensive side this upcoming year and turn defense into offense.” These answers show that Dotson wants to generate and values the impact turnovers have on the game more than pass breakups. Dotson clearly wants to show he can be more of a ballhawk as a DB. Understanding he is strong enough in coverage to be in position to prevent his matchup from making a play on the ball. Now he wants to come up with more takeaways to give his offense short fields or even change the score himself with defensive touchdowns. Dotson has good ball skills as on film he constantly gets his hands on the ball, but to start coming up with more interceptions will further show his playmaking skills.

Jaylen Dotson as a defensive back is a player with the raw tools and technical skills to dominate at his position. He is a player that has confidence in his cover abilities, but now wants to create more turnovers to be more of an impact DB. With no offers yet to speak of Dotson is being overlooked by recruiters and scouts. With a strong senior season with Good Counsel in the tough WCAC conference his name will get more recognition as a quality DB out of the DMV.

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