The Commanders’ rookie, son of the Super Bowl champion, ready to ‘step up’

Some positions within Washington’s commanders can take years to establish a quality starter in a particular location.

Not the wide receivers, though. They could be down to one player, and that player could be 2024 third-round pick Luke McCaffrey (No. 100 overall), the son of three-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver Ed McCaffrey and the younger brother of 2023 NFL Offensive Player of the Year and San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.

“He’s got size, he’s got speed, he’s got great movement skills and I think he’s only going to go up,” Washington general manager Adam Peters told Zach Selby of Commanders. com ahead of rookie minicamp May 10-12.

Luke McCaffrey spent the first three seasons of his college career as a quarterback – two seasons at Nebraska and one season at Rice – before becoming a star receiver for the Owls and developing into an NFL draft pick.

In two seasons catching passes, McCaffrey had 129 receptions for 1,714 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. He had a breakout season in 2023, leading his team with 71 receptions for 992 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns along with 15 carries for 117 rushing yards en route to All-American Athletic Conference honors.

The 2022 first-round pick struggled at WR

The Commanders already have one of the NFL’s most respected veteran receivers on the roster in Terry McLaurin, who was a third-round pick like McCaffrey in 2019.

McLaurin has four consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and made the Pro Bowl in 2022. He’s also paid like one of the best in the NFL: he signed a 3-year contract extension worth of $68.3 million in June 2022 which keeps him with Commanders until at least 2025.

After that, the Commanders hope rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels, the second overall pick, can breathe some life into the career of former first-round pick Jahan Dotson.

Dotson, selected No. 16 overall out of Penn State in 2022, appeared to regress in 2023.

As a rookie in 2022, when he played in 12 games, Dotson made 35 receptions for 523 yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2023, playing in all 17 games, Dotson finished with 49 receptions for 518 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Dotson will likely start the season at one of the starting outside receiver positions and with McCaffrey in the slot. But nothing is set in stone, and it’s time to prove it for the third-year player, who showed some soul-searching late in the 2023 season after the Commanders went 4 -13 – the seventh straight year the franchise has missed. on a winning drive.

“I just look forward to getting better,” Dotson told the Washington Times in January 2024 after the regular season ended. “I want to be much better for myself and for this team. So I’m looking forward to doing that.

McCaffrey turned heads with combine performance

McCaffrey, 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, turned heads with his performance at the NFL combine in February 2024, where he ran a faster 40-yard dash time (4.46 seconds) than his older brother, who was number 8. overall pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2017.

“I’m ready to get to work right away and start competing and buying into this organization,” McCaffrey told “I love what everyone in this building stands for. I’m excited about the new faces and the kind of ability to be part of something that you can build and start from scratch. I am excited to begin.