The Steelers selected offensive guard Kevin Dotson in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Could he develop into Ramon Foster’s replacement?
Ramon Foster was one of the most likable and beloved members of the Pittsburgh Steelers for years. Foster had an unusual career path. He began as an undrafted free agent in 2009, and by 2011, he was a full-time starter for Pittsburgh.
Foster’s career spanned over a decade with the Steelers, and he ultimately started 145 of 160 career games. While he never made a Pro Bowl, Foster was a staple to Pittsburgh’s offensive line and was part of some of the best offensives Pittsburgh has seen in its storied history.
Recently, the Steelers spent a fourth-round draft choice on Lousiana-Lafayette guard, Kevin Dotson. Is the plan for him to become Ramon Foster’s replacement?
Dotson and Foster share some similarities. Both are big interior offensive lineman with a mean streak to their game. Foster, however, was known for being an anchor in pass protection – an area that Dotson needs to improve at.
According to Pro Football Focus’s scouting report, Dotson earned an 85.2 pass-block grade in 2019. However, he struggled as a gap blocker (73.0 grade), and he only earned a 75.6 grade in true pass sets.
Fortunately, what Dotson currently lacks in technique in pass blocking, he makes up for with a violent demeanor in the run game.
Dotson finds enjoyment out of bullying defensive lineman on the ground – as evidenced by his 92.3 run block grade from 2019. With a barrel chest and broad shoulders, he has a perfect build for the position and he’s about to make his living carving holes in the run game.
For the Steelers, Dotson projects as either the first or second interior offensive lineman off the bench as a rookie – depending on what they elect to do with Matt Feiler. If Feiler stays at right tackle, this would likely push veteran Stefen Wisniewski into a starting role at left guard – making Dotson the primary backup.
However, if Pittsburgh moves Feiler inside, the path to finding the field for Dotson becomes a bit more difficult, as Wisniewski will be the first man off the bench. Either way, it’s probably a good thing if Dotson doesn’t have to get on the field much as a rookie.
Wisniewski signed just a two-year deal that keeps him around until the 2021 sesaon. By that time, Dotson could show enough development to potentially earn a starting job for the Steelers opposite of David DeCastro.
As a fourth-round pick, it’s important not to get our expectations too high for the former Lousiana-Lafayette guard. However, Dotson has the desired build and tools for the position. With some growth and development, perhaps he can have what it takes to replace Ramon Foster on the offensive line.