The Rams are set to add some offensive line depth in former Steelers guard Kevin Dotson, first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. According to Brooke Pryor of ESPN, the acquisition comes via trade as Los Angeles will send a 2024 fourth- and a 2025 fifth-round pick to Pittsburgh in exchange for Dotson, a 2024 fifth-, and a 2025 sixth-round pick.
Dotson is heading into his fourth year of NFL play after being drafted in the fourth round by the Steelers back in 2020. Since then, he has started 30 games, mostly at left guard, establishing himself as a full-time starter by his sophomore NFL season.
After only starting four games while appearing in 13 as a rookie, Dotson entered the 2021 season as a full-time starter. After nine starts to open the season, though, Dotson suffered an ankle injury that would keep him off the field for the rest of the season. He returned with a vengeance in 2022, starting all 17 games for Pittsburgh at left guard.
It will be interesting to see if Dotson can compete for a starting job in Los Angeles right away. TCU second-round pick Steve Avila is slotted in as the starting left guard, while Tremayne Anchrum is penciled in at right guard. Avila should be given every opportunity to start as a rookie, but Anchrum, on the other hand, has only started one game over his three years with the Rams.
Los Angeles recently introduced projected starting left tackle Joseph Noteboom to the right guard spot as part their attempt to determine the best possible configuration of their top linemen. Noteboom has also never spent a full season as a starter, though, and bringing Noteboom over obviously opens the left tackle slot for competition.
If Dotson can come in and solidify the right guard spot, it could solve the problem of experience at the guard position and also keep Noteboom kicked outside where he’s been working. In the Rams search to play their best five linemen, Dotson’s addition should help immensely.
In Pittsburgh, the move comes with a bit of relief. Despite losing their starting left guard from last year, the team will save $2.75MM in cap money by trading Dotson away. Last year’s starting right guard, James Daniels, should remain in his starting role, while free agent addition Isaac Seumalo is the one who made Dotson superfluous in the first place.