Steelers rookie offensive guard, Kevin Dotson, was phenomenal in his first NFL start against the Broncos. Is it too early to say Pittsburgh found a future star?
It isn’t often that NFL teams are forced to start a rookie fourth-round draft choice in just his second game in the league. It’s even less likely that player would do well enough in his first action to strike up debates about how good he could be in the future. However, that’s exactly what Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard, Kevin Dotson, did in his first NFL start against the Denver Broncos.
Obviously, nobody expected Dotson to have to play this early. After kicking Matt Feiler back inside this year, the Steelers were three deep at guard with Feiler, David DeCastro, and Stefen Wisniewski. Unfortunately, just two weeks into the 2020 season, Pittsburgh was already without two of their top three guards. Because of this, Dotson was forced onto the field much faster than anyone anticipated.
In his first start against the Broncos, we were just hoping that he wouldn’t be a weak link to the offensive line or responsible for getting Ben Roethlisberger hit more than once or twice. Not only was Dotson not the weakest link in Week 2, but he was shockingly was the best offensive lineman in the game.
According to Pro Football Focus, Kevin Dotson graded out as the best offensive guard in the league in Week 2 – rookie or veteran. The Louisiana Lafayette product did not allow a single pressure in 42 snaps in pass protection on Sunday. His 89.2 pass block grade is the 4th best in the league among interior offensive lineman through the first two weeks of the season.
Did the Steelers find a diamond in the rough?
Rarely would I ever even entertain the thought that the Steelers may have struck gold after seeing a player in NFL action for just one full game, but Dotson’s performance showed why he could be the future at guard for the Steelers.
The 2020 fourth-round pick was essentially flawless in his first start of the season, and there is reason enough to believe that it wasn’t just a fluke. Though Dotson didn’t receive a Combine invite this past offseason, he was a road-grader and a one-man wrecking crew for Ragin’ Cajuns.
Apparently, Dotson picked up right where he left off – proving that the jump in the level of competition wasn’t too much for him. The Broncos were one of the most banged-up teams in the league, but it’s still thoroughly impressive for the rookie to outplay every other offensive lineman on his team.
David DeCastro will be returning to the field soon, and it’s obvious that Dotson will find himself back in a reserve role. However, he was so good in his first start that he has given the Steelers a reason to believe that he could potentially be a long-time starter for this team when his name is called again.