Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs is one of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s NFL Draft.
A long time starter, Dobbs led the Vols to 23 victories while becoming only the third SEC QB ever to throw for over 7,000 yards, throw over 50 touchdowns and run for over 2,000 yards in a career. However, questions about his accuracy and consistency has left him out of the conversation with the draft’s top QBs.
Regardless, Dobbs has raced up the draft boards thought the process. His performances at the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and Tennessee’s Pro Day has his name climbing from a projected late-round selection, to a possible second round pick.
“I’d rather take Dobbs in the Second round than Watson, Kizer, Mahomes or Trubisky in the first round” – Todd McShay of ESPN
— Draft Dr. Phil (@FulphilO) April 16, 2017
ESPN’s top NFL Draft Insider has been gushing about Dobbs for over a month now. But, how many NFL General Managers are gushing enough to draft him? Here are four possible landing spots for Josh Dobbs in the NFL Draft.
4 – Los Angeles Chargers
The franchise, formerly of San Diego, is off to a new city and in need of a future beyond a new stadium. Philip Rivers has been fantastic in his career, but the 35-year-old has taken a beating in recent years due to lack of offensive talent around him.
Rivers, a former top five pick, still has a few years left in the tank, but like the club did with him, they’ll need to plan for the future. The Chargers drafted Rivers in 2004 and sat him behind Drew Brees for two seasons before a severe shoulder injury allowed the team to move on from Brees. Rivers hasn’t missed a start since, playing in 192 consecutive games.
Dobbs needs, at minimum, a year to sit and develop (maybe two years). He can do so behind Rivers. The Chargers are picking in the Top 10 for back-to-back years and don’t seem like legitimate contenders for a playoff push. I doubt the Chargers will admit that, so they can use their top two picks (No’s 7 and 38 overall) on players who can contribute on day one. Dobbs could be selected at the top of the third round with the 71st overall pick.
Schematically, the shoe fits. The Chargers offense plays out of the shotgun the majority of the time and uses spread out formations. Dobbs’ skill set could translate, in time.
3 – Pittsburgh Steelers
All four of these scenarios start with a veteran quarterback who’s towards the final few years of their careers. In Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger even flirted with the possibility of retiring this offseason (although it looks like he used that for leverage with the front office).
The Steelers’ offense is Super Bowl ready, and will stay that way for several years. Will Big Ben be able to keep up? If Josh Dobbs lands in the Steel City, he could sit for a few years and then attempt to have a seamless transition when Roethlisberger exits.
Pittsburgh is ready to win NOW. It’s AFC Championship game appearance proves that and gave the team the third to last draft slot in the first round. My guess is they will load up on defensive help in the first two rounds, then Dobbs can become an option in the third. The Steelers have two late third round picks, the second being a compensatory pick. Dobbs would fit nicely in either the 94th or 105th slot. Dobbs has visited with the Steelers since the NFL Combine.
2 – New Orleans Saints
Now, things are starting to get serious. New Orleans has a wide open offense, orchestrated by Super Bowl winning QB Drew Brees. The system is also designed to get rid of the ball quickly. The Saints are also never short on weapons in the passing game.
I think Dobbs and Brees would be a great fit, personality wise, and could be a great mentor-mentee relationship. Does Dobbs have the arm talent Brees has? No. But, he could be a good option for the franchise as they will have to transition away from the 38 year old, soon (even if he says he’ll play until he’s 45).
I think New Orleans is the earliest Dobbs could come off the board at the 42nd overall pick in the second round. If the the other top four QBs are gone by then, the Saints could get antsy and pull the trigger. If they don’t, they have two options in the third round to scoop up the Tennessee product (76 and 103 overall). Dobbs has visited with the Saints since the NFL Combine.
1 – Kansas City Chiefs
If I’m Josh Dobbs this is where I want to go. I think Josh Dobbs’ ceiling is to be Alex Smith. Smith is an efficient QB who is able to make plays with his arm and legs. Smith will never light up a scoreboard or be drafted high in your fantasy football league, but he’s been able to stabilize the Chiefs’ organization and get to the playoffs.
Dobbs could do the same thing, in time. And, KC is starting to compile some playmakers on offense. Tyreek Hill made every NFL fan turn their heads during his rookie year with this blazing speed. Travis Kelce is one of the most talented tight ends in the league (and has a Butch Jones tie). Jeremy Maclin may be past his prime after two knee injuries, but rookie Chris Conley showed some ability with 44 catches last season.
Outside of New Orleans, this could be Dobbs’ other option to be drafted in the second round. Kansas City picks in the back end of each round and could use the 59th overall pick on Dobbs. If not, KC is yet another team on this list with two third round picks (91 and 104). Whenever a team has multiple picks in a mid-round, it’s easier to take a project-player who may need more development, like Josh Dobbs. Yes, Dobbs has visited with Kansas City since the NFL Combine.