Former Steelers guard Kevin Dotson hopped into the Rams starting lineup when Joe Noteboom got injured for the Rams, and now that he has significant starts under his belt, Dotson is proving to be a fantastic addition to the team. But not only is he playing at a high level, Pro Football Focus sees him playing at an elite level. In fact, he is their second-highest-rated guard through Week 14 with an 84.5 grade overall. When you turn on the tape, it’s hard not to love what Dotson is putting out there.
That Kevin Dotson trade before the season by the Rams has had nice returns already based on how well he played the last two weeks. He's been a plus player with several impact blocks. Play strength! pic.twitter.com/LuI3vaSRjt
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) October 13, 2023
“Kevin Dotson’s ascension has been a surprise in the best way possible for the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams traded a 2024 fourth- and a 2025 fifth-round pick just a few short weeks before the start of the 2023 NFL season. They needed something, anything, to bolster the offensive line. Dotson had put together a couple of underwhelming seasons with the Steelers and needed a fresh start. So far, so good then. Dotson has been one of the standout guards in the NFL this season. His 84.5 overall grade is the second highest at the position, and he has allowed just 10 pressures in nine games, forming an excellent 3.2% pressure rate that ranks seventh best in the NFL. Dotson has gone from an afterthought to someone playing at an All-Pro level. He’ll be a hot commodity if he makes it to free agency,” PFF wrote.
That’s the type of value that the Rams are getting from Dotson. Solid play is not foreign to Dotson at the NFL level. At times, he flashed brilliance with the Steelers, playing with excellent play strength and drive. Yet, he never fully got that going amid injuries and inconsistencies throughout his time with the Steelers. But his steadiness with the Rams is the type of player he would look like without those flaws he presented.
Pittsburgh drafted Dotson in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Dotson played phenomenally during his rookie season, as he made 13 appearances and recorded four starts while not allowing a single sack. He also played a significant role on a historic offensive line that allowed just 14 total sacks all season, the franchise’s lowest mark since 1982.
He had his second season cut short after just nine games of being a full-time starter and resumed his starting role last season with a season-ending ankle injury. After his level of play declined over the past two seasons, it seems his time as a Steeler is nearing its end. This offseason, the team signed Isaac Seumalo to a three-year, $24 million contract, and he is expected to take over the starting left guard position.
Dotson played a career-high 1,160 snaps last season and was rated as the Steelers third-best starting offensive lineman (65.4) and the best overall pass blocker (77.6) on the line by PFF. Dotson is one of many former Steelers players who have played at a high level this season after leaving the team. When that happens, questions must be asked, especially with Dotson, who has seemingly looked fantastic.
Dotson’s resurgence is not that surprising. His tape last year in Pittsburgh was solid, but the Steelers upgraded when Isaac Seumalo became available. Dotson, naturally, was more of a right guard coming out of college. His rookie season was impressive when he got out there on the field, but Pittsburgh shuffled the deck around on the offensive line, and Dotson ended up at left guard. Still, seeing what Dotson is doing so far with his new team in Los Angeles is impressive.