I: IOL Kevin Dotson
The LA Rams were dramatically excited to draft Wisconsin offensive lineman Logan Bruss with the 104th overall pick in Round 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft. But Bruss suffered a devastating injury at the end of preseason in his rookie season, and that setback derailed the Rams succession plans for the offensive line.
While the LA Rams did land a future Pro Bowler in Round 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft with the 36th overall pick in Steve Avila, the Rams need for a refurbished interior offensive line required the Rams to consider upgrading the right guard position this season as well.
The LA Rams initiated a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers just before the start of the 2023 NFL season to acquire backup interior offensive lineman Kevin Dotson. Much like the trade that brought former Rams IOL Austin Corbett to the Rams in 2019, Dotson was a player who started for the Steelers in the past, but had lost his job to a teammate.
The Rams keenly understood that Dotson, much like Corbett before him, desperately wanted a chance to start in the NFL, and had a chip on his shoulder for that extra bit of motivation to prove the Steelers were wrong about him.
I'd say that he is certainly making NFL teams sit up and take notice.
Some fans scoff at NFL players who fuel their performances by raging at the doubters and disbelievers. But I applaud their fury. Competing for a starting position in the NFL is an elite group to begin with. Just 64 persons in the nation start as an offensive guard on any given week. And it's that bonfire of competitiveness that often makes a world of difference in their careers.
Check out this comment by Dotson
Much like RB Royce Freeman and DB Ahkello Witherspoon described above, Dotson brings a snarl and unbridled physicality to the Rams offensive line. While rookies learn how to do that over time, NFL veterans have learned that trait and know how to use it weekly to ensure that they bring their best effort in each game.
This is a different Rams team. This Rams roster embraces physical play, rises to the challenge of competition, and loves to compete. These are lessons that are invaluable for rookies, and the Rams have chosen the right veterans to mentor young players the right way. Will the Rams extend all three players? I would not set your heart on it. The Rams made it quite clear that they are investing in young players to win in 2024 and beyond.
But it's quite clear that these three veterans are teaching the Rams rookies the right way to play the game.