CBS Sports projects the Jacksonville Jaguars will land the top guard in free agency

• Kevin Dotson would be a huge addition to the Jaguars' offensive line

Nov 26, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams guard Kevin Dotson (69) against the Arizona
Nov 26, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams guard Kevin Dotson (69) against the Arizona / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars couldn't run the ball or give Trevor Lawrence enough time to throw last year because their offensive line couldn't block. That's why making upgrades up front should be at the top of their priorities this offseason. Fortunately for the Jags, they'll have several options in free agency and the draft. But if they want to get top-notch help, they should go after right guard Kevin Dotson in the open market. Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports thinks they should.

Benjamin recently did a free-agency mock and had Jacksonville signing Dotson, noting that he took his game to the next level when he joined the Los Angeles Rams last year.

"Jacksonville needs to tighten the screws across its O-line if it wants Trevor Lawrence to settle in for an improved Year 4. Dotson, meanwhile, really took it up a notch for the Rams in 2023, making him a top-tier upgrade on the interior."

Dotson, a fourth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020, flashed as a rookie. However, he switched to left guard in his sophomore campaign and he didn't fare as well. He was traded to the Rams before the start of the 2023 season and returned to his more familiar right guard spot. In Los Angeles, he made a massive leap, giving up four sacks and just 20 total pressures on 520 pass-blocking snaps. Moreover, he posted a career-best 85.2 Pro Football Focus overall grade.

PFF projects Dotson will get a four-year deal that averages an annual salary of $17.25 million, far from peanuts. Based on his performance last year, he will have no shortage of suitors, and there are other teams with more cap space than the Jaguars who could outbid them for his services. However, that shouldn't stop the front office from going after the former Louisiana Ragin' Cajun.

Why could stop the Jaguars from signing Kevin Dotson in free agency?

As great as Kevin Dotson is, there are a couple hurdles the Jacksonville Jaguars would need to clear to sign him. First, they already have a starting right guard in Brandon Scherff, one of their biggest acquisitions in 2022.

A first-round pick in 2015, Scherff inked a three-year deal worth $49 million to join the Jags. The deal made him one of the highest-paid guards at the time, and they surely didn't mind paying top-market money for him because he made five Pro Bowls during his seven-year stint with the Washington Commanders. However, he hasn't been as dominant as expected, partly due to injuries. That's why he's been seen as a potential cap casualty heading into free agency.

The other issue that could prevent the Jaguars from going after Dotson is that they have around $24 million in cap space, which wouldn't be nearly enough. That could be taken care of by releasing Scherff, as it would free up $9 million in space. Also, it would pave the way for Dotson in the starting lineup.

Having said that, it's uncertain if the Jags would want to commit such a considerable amount of space at right guard. When you take into account that they need to address other position groups and can take one in the second or third round or the draft, they may pass on signing Dotson. Moreover, it's not a given that they'll move on from Scherff, who hasn't been necessarily bad the past two years.

Make no mistake, Kevin Dotson would be a great addition to the offensive line, but he won't be the only option the Jacksonville Jaguars will have. Then again, if they're serious about protecting Trevor Lawrence, they should spare no expenses and sign him in free agency.

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