3.) Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee (6’3 | 220 | 4.67) – In my opinion, Dobbs is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. He’s only two seasons removed from being considered a future first round pick and even before the 2016 season Dobbs was thought of a potential breakout player by many analysts.
A slow start to the season with subpar performances against Appalachian St and Virginia Tech (just 91 passing yards) hurt his prospect status and then a disaster against Alabama in a midseason loss (92 passing yards, -31 rushing yards) dropped him off NFL radars completely.
Dobbs rebounded with a ridiculous finish to the season, completing 74% of his passes for 1,260 yards, 12 passing TDs, one INT, 511 rushing yards, and seven more touchdowns over his last five games. Despite his slow start to the year, Dobbs completed 63% of his passes for 2,946 yards, 27 TDs, 12 INTs, and an impressive 150.6 passer rating in his senior campaign.
He ended up setting career highs in almost every category in his third full year as a starter and was named 2nd team All-SEC. His strong finish to the season hasn’t seemed to resonate with draft analysts though who still have him pegged as a late day three pick.
Dobbs has a unique athletic profile with the height teams look for in a QB, the speed and open-field elusiveness of a running back, and a live arm capable of making all the NFL throws with significant heat on them. Physically, Dobbs has all the traits to be a hybrid NFL QB, but lacks the bulk of Cam Newton.
Despite his thin frame, Dobbs hasn’t suffered any injuries in college despite often laying out for extra yards, so shouldn’t be dinged for durability concerns without any evidence that he can’t stay healthy. The SEC is the closest thing to the NFL and he survived three-plus seasons a starter without injury.
In addition to Dobb’s ideal physical attributes, he’s also a two-time team captain and an aeronautical engineer who excels in the classroom. Dobbs’ impressive brain and leadership capabilities should help him pick up an NFL scheme quicker than most rookies and command an NFL huddle.
His mix of size, speed, arm strength, and poise are reminiscent of Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott and it just so happens that Dobbs and Prescott are the only two SEC quarterbacks ever to throw for 15 touchdowns and run for 10 in consecutive seasons.
I’ve spent the majority of this breakdown praising Dobbs, but there are a few areas of concern. I mentioned his thin build, which could be an issue, but his main red flag is a lack of consistency. He had a few bad games against subpar opponents and his accuracy, while impressive at times, isn’t consistent enough. There is also a slight hitch in his delivery and his ball security outside the pocket needs to improve, but those are both minor concerns that could be cleaned up quickly with coaching.
Overall, I’m higher on Dobbs NFL potential than most. He reminds me a little of my favorite sleeper in last year’s Senior Bowl, Jacoby Brissett, who was drafted higher than projected by the Patriots (3rd round). Dobbs has a chance to make a similar leap in the draft with a strong Senior Bowl and combine.