Shocked? LA Rams make a surprising trade for this Steelers player. But why?

Pittsburgh Steelers  Kevin Dotson
Pittsburgh Steelers Kevin Dotson / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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LA Rams News Rams roster Kevin Dotson Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Les Snead / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

Why did the LA Rams do this trade?

Before we go down this path, what exactly did the LA Rams give up for Kevin Dotson? In the gross trade, the Steelers get two draft picks, and the Rams get two draft picks, plus Dotson. But look more closely at the details, and you will see that this could pose to be a pretty heavy price to pay.

Rams trade for Kevin Dotson

If the LA Rams struggle this season, and the consensus that the Rams will is growing as we speak, the Rams will appear early in each round in the 2024 NFL Draft. The difference in projected draft pick values (63+20), as both teams are currently projected, is essentially a far better return in draft value than the San Francisco 49ers got for sending quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys.

So why now?

The answer to why the LA Rams wanted to trade now is complex, and we'll need to cover that over the next several slides. But for the basic timing of this trade, it's pretty clear. The Rams do not pull the trigger on a trade of this magnitude for depth. It's clear that the team has identified Kevin Dotson as a projected starter for the LA Rams for the 2023 NFL season.

Trading for him now, rather than wading through the slow process of the NFL Waiver Wire, submitting a waiver claim, and then onboarding the new player steals far too much time from a Rams team that needs to lock down their offensive line starters now.

By trading now, the Rams add several precious days to get Dotson an offensive playbook, in-process him, and make all of the necessary introductions. That could make all of the difference in the world for not only the Rams offensive line but for the entire Rams team this season.