The Pittsburgh Steelers had quite the early scare this offseason when Ben Roethlisberger considered calling it a career. Luckily for both the organization and the fanbase, Roethlisberger decided to return for a 14th season, keeping Pittsburgh’s championship hopes alive for at least another year. While he ultimately came back, the possibility of Big Ben retiring after next season made Pittsburgh’s front office realize that the future at quarterback must be addressed.
After addressing other areas of need in the first three rounds of the draft, Pittsburgh decided to invest their future in Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs, drafting him the fourth round with the 135 overall pick in the draft.
— NFL (@NFL) April 29, 2017
Believing a middle-round pick could end up being a franchise quarterback might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Despite his draft position, scouts have been high on Dobbs’ potential at the next level and are convinced he could develop into a starter, going so far as to compare the Tennessee product to Dallas Cowboys rookie sensation and fellow 135th pick Dak Prescott.
Both Dak Prescott and Josh Dobbs were drafted 136th. As I reported, a few personnel people told me some teams think Dobbs may be Dak v2.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) April 29, 2017
From strictly a physical standpoint, Dobbs fits the bill of starting NFL quarterback. The former Volunteer has the ideal frame of a pro-level quarterback and an absolute cannon of an arm to match. While he has a great arm, Dobbs’ best asset is his legs. The former Tennessee signal caller has shown time and again that he’s capable of extending plays with his feet when the pocket breaks down and that he has the ability to rip off long runs if the defense gives him a running lane.
There’s a lot to like about the Steelers’ newest signal caller, but he still has plenty of work to do if he wants to start for Pittsburgh. Dobbs’ main flaw is that he has sloppy footwork when he throws, leading to an inconsistent delivery as well as accuracy issues, and he needs to improve his decision-making under pressure. There’s also a concern that he lacks the ideal bulk an NFL quarterback should have, leading to questions about his durability.
Dobbs is widely considered a developmental project when you take his flaws into account, but being drafted by the Steelers has put him in a great position to realize his full potential. Dobbs will have the advantage of learning under a future Hall of Fame quarterback and he’ll have at least a year to develop under quarterback whisperer Todd Haley. Considering the situation he’s in, there’s no doubt that Dobbs will develop into the Steelers’ next franchise quarterback.
Mike Esposito is the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos Staff Writer at Endzonescore.com. Follow him on Twitter @espo6891