The Rams endured several serious injuries to their offensive line in 2022. A year later, they've taken steps to bolster their insurance for 2023, on Sunday acquiring former Steelers starter Kevin Dotson in a swap of draft picks, as NFL Media and ESPN reported.
In exchange for Dotson, the Rams have reportedly agreed to trade the Steelers a 2024 fourth-round pick and 2025 fifth-rounder, while also receiving a 2024 fifth-rounder and 2025 sixth-rounder from Pittsburgh.
Dotson, 26, was originally a fourth-round pick out of Louisiana in 2020. He logged 30 combined starts for the Steelers over the last three seasons, including 17 as a full-time guard in 2022. But he essentially lost his first-team gig when Pittsburgh signed ex-Eagles starter Isaac Seumalo in free agency, and all indications are he wasn't a lock to make the Steelers' final roster after this summer.
The Rams figure to carry Dotson on their active roster after the pick swap, but it's unclear exactly where he'll fit in out of the gate. Los Angeles shifted former left tackle Joseph Noteboom to the interior after a camp competition, but for much of the offseason, the team has experimented with different combinations up front. It's possible Dotson could simply be used as the top reserve at guard.
Here's how we'd grade the trade:
It's never not a good idea to take a flyer on offensive line reinforcements. And Dotson certainly adds starting experience to an interior that could end up shuffling first-teamers throughout the year. But there's a reason the Steelers were quick to invest Day 1 free agency money into his position this year, and it's very possible Dotson would've been released in a matter of days anyway.
Considering their James Daniels addition didn't shore up the line as expected early in 2022, you don't necessarily wanna be dealing away a recent 17-game starter just because newcomer Isaac Seumalo is in town. But Dotson was widely projected as no more than a third-team guard after camp, meaning they still managed to move up a round in two drafts for surrendering a likely cut candidate.