Rams GM Explains Reasoning Behind Trade for Additional OL Depth

Kevin Dotson

Getty Kevin Dotson on August 12, 2021 while with the Steelers.

Not rare involving the Los Angeles Rams in the era of general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay: Making trades and adding veterans.

But what was rare about the August 27 deal that added depth to the offensive line with Kevin Dotson — it was a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers that was made after the preseason, a rarity in the current regime.

Still, there was enough that convinced the Rams’ brass to lure in the offensive guard. And Snead explained why to reporters on Wednesday, August 30.

Snead Noticed Dotson’s Role on a ‘Fun Team to Watch’

The trade, which also involved the Rams adding a 2024 fifth round selection and a 2025 sixth rounder, was made to add depth at one interior spot on the offensive line at guard.

Snead, though, shared to the L.A. media first that he likes Dotson’s experience coming into L.A.

“I think that it started with he’s been a starter in Pittsburgh,” Snead said. “They drafted a good bit of OL. They signed some in unrestricted free agency so you did know that they had a surplus of OL who had played in NFL games and with the draftees coming in, they were a team that we targeted initially to monitor if we ever wanted to go in that direction.”

Then came the film study on Snead’s end in making the determination to add Dotson — which Snead adds that watching the Steelers play becomes fun for a football mind like him.

“And then obviously you turn on the tape, you play the Pittsburgh (Steelers), they’re a fun team to watch,” Snead said. “Their linemen play with an element of toughness, they like to run the ball, they like to go north and south. He’s a bigger player that helps in anchoring, especially in the pocket.”

Dotson, per Snead’s words, fits the offensive lineman version of a north-south grinder who embraces playing with physicality.

Was Snead and the Rams Trying to Pursue Him Before?

Turns out Dotson was indeed on the Rams’ front office radar…as preseason was coming to a close.

“We’ve tried to trade for him most of the preseason,” Snead revealed.

But what was the hold up involving the Rams and the Steelers?

“They wanted to hold onto him to make sure that they got through preseason healthy and didn’t necessarily need him and still have the surplus that we thought they might have,” Snead said.

Now, Dotson is entering an offensive line room that’s had an extreme makeover as part of their roster remodel initiative under Snead. The Rams ended up demoting their 2022 first draft pick Logan Bruss (taken in the third round), while also adding rookie draft picks Steve Avila and Warren McClendon to bolster a unit ravaged by injuries and inconsistency. It’s still too be determined who will be the starting five trench options once the Rams head into their season opener on the road versus the Seattle Seahawks on September 10.

Could Dotson crack the starting lineup immediately? Especially with his past starting experience? Snead concluded he wants to see Dotson be brought along slowly into the Rams’ blocking schemes and offense.

“Right now, let’s get him up to speed and then from that point we’ll see where he fits in and what ends up being our best five along the way,” Snead said.

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