The Pittsburgh Steelers definitely have a type. Last season, for example, I was sure the Steelers reached for a AB clone in Diontae Johnson in the third round. Though they do have plenty of similarities in physique and abilities, Johnson went on to a impressive rookie season. Definitely not a reach, and I was happy to eat some crow.
The Steelers just did it again, selecting a Ramon Foster type player in Louisiana G Kevin Dotson with the 135th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Dotson earned the distinction of being the first player selected this year that wasn't invited to the Combine. Dotson was overshadowed at times by a more renowned teammate, RT Robert Hunt, but it was impossible to scout Hunt and not leave impressed by Dotson also.
Dotson is a powerful run blocker, utilizing superior strength and hand punch to overwhelm and maul opponents. He possess only average athleticism and movement skills, so he excels as a drive blocker and anchor in pass protection. He is seldom knocked off balance or backward due to his strong base. He is not a pulling guard and will seldom reach the second level of the defense. He specializes in winning fights in a phone booth.
Slightly top heavy at 6'4 and 310 lbs., he can lose sight of his opponent by dropping his head at contact. Any issues with technique should be easily corrected because Dotson is fundamentally sound and highly coachable. He projects as a backup who could possibly develop into a starter with additional seasoning.
There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal their final grades, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value.
This is a solid, howbeit not spectacular, selection. This is the typically overlooked meat and potatoes acquisition that is extremely important to strengthen the offensive line for future seasons. In no way flashy, but essential nonetheless. I can't see a scenario with Dotson seeing the field this season, barring a unforeseen disaster. His true value won't be realized for a year or two. Therefore I am giving this selection a grade of C. In no way a slight toward the young man, who I feel has a bright future. Based only on initial impact and draft value.
One sidenote I found particularly interesting. Dotson is a lifelong Steelers fan. His family has a Steelers themed man cave in their house. I always love to see a young man's dream come true. Donning the Black and Gold and running onto the field will mean a little more for Kevin Dotson and his family.
What overall grade would you give this selection? Please vote in the attached poll and share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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What overall grade do you give this Pittsburgh Steelers selection?
This poll is closed
A = Excellent selection
B = Above average selection
C = Solid selection
D = Below average selection
F = Terrible selection