Offensive line was an area of need coming in even after adding Stefan Wisniewski in free agency. The Steelers waited to the late fourth but the add Kevin Dotson a 6’4” 310 pound guard from Louisiana joining teammate Robert Hunt in this year’s draft.
After his senior year Dotson got a chance to play in the in the East/West Shrine game but was not invited to the Combine which some felt was a snub. He has NFL bloodlines and comes from a family of athletes and did receive some attention from the Steelers in the pre-draft process. Dotson was a four year starter at Louisiana with 52 career starts and was named a first team AP All American.
As far as where Dotson was drafted it seemed on par with where the experts saw his value.
Lance Zieirlein of NFL.com gave him a 6.10 grade (Good backup who could become starter) and compares him to Jonotthan Harrison. He had this to say, “Backup-caliber guard with the football intelligence, technique and run-blocking ability for eventual starter consideration in the right circumstance. Dotson is a powerful man with experience blocking in zone, gap and power schemes. He’s a little stiff-kneed with sluggish change of direction so slanting fronts and athletic pass rushers could create inconsistencies in his performance. What he can do well outweighs the concerns and he could hear his name called on Day 3.”
This quote from and anonymous southeastern scout for AFC team, “”The right tackle (Robert Hunt) gets more attention because of his traits but there is plenty of love on the streets for Dotson.”
In his profile, Alex Kozora called him a mauling run blocker with the ability to pancake defenders with great leg drive and finish.
Kozora concluded with, “The non-Combine invite and smaller D-1 school makes it all the more difficult figuring out where he’s going to go. We’ll have to see how he tests at his Pro Day to gauge his athleticism since it’s a question on tape. But I can see this guy fitting the Steelers’ style. Throwback, nasty, and with Art Rooney’s decree of making the run game more effective (Dotson wouldn’t start out of the gate, I know), adding a guy like him will be a step in accomplishing that mission.
On the low end, I’d compare him to Jamon Brown. On the high end, an Andrus Peat/Larry Warford type.”
His projection was for late day two to early day three.
Overall: This is a good value pick and fills a need for depth along the interior offensive line. He doesn’t have the positional flexibility that you might like but he has lots of collegiate starting experience. He has the body type and demeanor that the Steelers like for their IOL and this could be a pick we look back on as a steal in the coming years.