Now that the 2020 regular season has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the season as it plays out. Who is making plays? Who is missing them? Who is losing snaps? Who is struggling to stay on the field?
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: G Kevin Dotson
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Although he is due to head back to the bench, Kevin Dotson showed on Sunday against the Denver Broncos that he was capable of delivering a quality start, and he did so in just the second game of his professional career.
The Steelers felt good about drafting Kevin Dotson where they did. So much so in fact that he was actually the first non-Combine invitee off the board. That’s how strongly they felt about their evaluation even though he was coming out of a small school, albeit one where they had previously been able to find Ike Taylor.
This is an easy one to write up, of course, because his play on Sunday answered a lot of questions, in an offseason that was full of them. They drafted Dotson in part because they knew that their offensive line depth took a blow, and that there is change coming on the horizon. Now they know that he looks like a possible answer in the near future.
One start in which a rookie looks pretty good isn’t everything, of course. He needs to provide a consistent level of play over a period of time. But even though a lot of fans seemed to feel confident in his abilities coming in—it didn’t hurt that he was already a Steelers fan and has a personality that caters to what fans like to see—he delivered above expectations, especially in the passing game.
The fact that we are already talking about the theoretical possibility of him moving to left guard in the even that Matt Feiler leaves in free agency is premature, but also a testament to what he has shown thus far since coming into the league—much of which we didn’t see, since there was no preseason and training camp was closed to fans.
With David DeCastro coming back, it’s unknown when he will see the field again, but a question I raised recently was whether or not the Steelers will still use him as the top backup guard even after Stefen Wisniewski returns. With the ability to dress eight offensive linemen without penalty, it’s a legitimate possibility.