Steelers Kevin Dotson is the highest-rated guard in the preseason
By Tommy Jaggi
There’s a reason Kevin Dotson is the highest-rated NFL guard in the preseason. Here’s what he could offer the Steelers in 2021.
Even if you don’t have experience evaluating the offensive line, I’m willing to bet that it hasn’t been hard for Kevin Dotson to stand out on offense. As someone who gets enjoyment out of going back and watching preseason games a second time, I can assure you that he has been phenomenal.
Recently, Pro Football Focus released a tweet depicting just how dominant Dotson has been this preseason. While it’s important to exhibition games with a grain of salt, the tape doesn’t lie:
Dotson has been outstanding in the preseason so far – meaning a league-high 92.9 overall grade at his position while allowing 0 pressures on 52 pass-block snaps. In addition, he has paved roads in the run game and excelled in this area of his game as well.
The second-year guard seems to be picking up from where he left off last year and showing that his string of good games when called upon isn’t just a fluke. His presence this year could be more important than you realize.
Dotson can be important to Steelers offensive success
As you are all well aware, the Steelers were dead last in the NFL in rushing yards, and yards per attempt last season. This is a point that Pittsburgh’s brass has emphasized on improving this offseason, and Kevin Dotson will surely help in this department.
While good blocking takes five guys (and sometimes more) upfront doing their jobs, Dotson should be a big improvement over Matt Feiler from last year. When he saw the field, Dotson already looked like a better player during his rookie season, and he graded out as such. In fact, Dotson earned the highest pass-blocking grade of any interior offensive lineman in the NFL last year.
Though many hoped that Trai Turner would be the next Pro Bowl offensive lineman for the Steelers now that both David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey are gone, Kevin Dotson should be the odds-on favorite to do so. And with the way he’s been playing, that time could come soon.
When it comes to Dotson, there just isn’t a weakness in his game. He possesses remarkable size and strength for his position, while still showcasing incredibly athletic traits. His bull-like strength and nimble feet are what make it a breeze to keep defenders in front of him at all times.
Sometimes Dotson makes it look so easy, in fact, that it looks like he’s hardly even exhorting any energy while being the best offensive lineman on the team.
Obviously, Kevin Dotson needs to continue these impressive performances into the regular season, but I see no reason why he can’t swiftly develop into one of the better guards in the NFL. His play has been astonishing early in his NFL career and he’s only going to continue to get better.