UPDATE: Joshua Dobbs will be trading in his white and orange for some black and yellow.
The Alpharetta High School graduate was drafted in the fourth round of Saturday’s NFL Draft as the Pittsburgh Steelers used pick No. 135 on the 6-foot-3 SEC quarterback. Shortly after the pick, Dobbs tweeted he was “so excited” to be a part of the Steelers.
Many were quick to draw comparisons between Dobbs and Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott. Both were selected with pick No. 135 and both were in a position to back-up great, but aging quarterbacks.
After Tony Romo suffered an injury in the 2016 preseason, Prescott took the starting job over and Romo retired at the season’s end. Dobbs said he isn’t trying to be the Steelers’ starter.
“I'm not trying to replace anyone,” Dobbs told Chris Adamski of the Tribune-Review. “I'm just trying to be the best Josh Dobbs I can be each and everyday. Ben (Roethlisberger) is a future (Hall of Fame) QB."
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NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport says Dobbs will compete with Landry Jones for the role of Roethlisberger’s backup.
After Peyton Manning and Heath Shuler, Dobbs is the third-highest Tennessee quarterback to be drafted. Dobbs led the SEC in passing touchdowns in 2016, but many are impressed with his ability to run with the ball, as he tallied 32 rushing scores over his career with the Vols. In total, Dobbs was one of six Vols drafted in 2017.
Dobbs joins fellow Tennessee player Cam Sutton in Pittsburgh, as he was drafted by the Steelers in the third round. The pair were roommates as freshmen.
ORIGINAL STORY (1:57 p.m. - 4/27/17): Alpharetta isn’t quite sure where one of its native sons will be taken in the 2017 NFL draft.
No one is certain, really. Not even some of the NFL experts.
With pro football’s annual selection show set to start Thursday night, mock drafts around the web have Alpharetta High graduate and University of Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs going anywhere from the second round to the sixth.
In his senior season for the Vols, the former Alpharetta Raider led the SEC in passing touchdowns with 27, and scored 12 times on the ground. Dobbs, who is studying aerospace engineering at Tennessee, finished his career with 7,138 passing yards and three trips to bowl games.
Still, draft guru’s disagree on what to make of Dobbs and where to project him. Some like his speed, size and intelligence, but others have worries about his footwork and tendency to throw picks. Dobbs threw nine interceptions on 104 attempts beyond 10 yards this past season.
Here’s what the experts make of the second team All-SEC selection:
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Projection: Third Round
Comments: “Dobbs is hardly incompetent as a passer, but he hasn't shown as much growth with his ball placement and accuracy as scouts had hoped to see from this former four-star prospect. Dobbs has decent size and is an outstanding runner outside the pocket which could appeal to a team looking for a developmental quarterback with play-making ability.”
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
Comments: “If you feel like a better supporting cast would have helped him maybe play a little bit better at Tennessee, then you could think about Josh Dobbs in the second or third round. You think about the Senior Bowl week, how it helped him, you’ve got (team) interviews, and obviously, that helped him, he’s incredibly intelligent, great character, class quarterback, off the field leadership, respect. All of that and everything he has from an intangibles standpoint. Physically, he has the physical traits you want, as well.”
DraftWire, USA Today
Projection: Fourth Round, Pick No. 140, New York Giants
Dieter Kurtenbach, Fox Sports
Projection: Fourth Round, Pick No. 126, Denver Broncos
Projection: Third Round, Pick No. 86, Minnesota Vikings
Comments: “Teddy Bridgewater may never play for the Vikings again, while Sam Bradford is not the long-term answer. The Vikings could opt to add a rookie quarterback to the mix.”
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
Projection: Third Round, Pick No. 68, Jacksonville Jaguars
Josh Liskiewitz, Pro Football Focus
Projection: Sixth Round, Pick No. 204, Detroit Lions
Comments: “I’m a big believer in taking a late-round QB in every draft regardless of a team’s current depth chart, as quality starters are so hard to find and having a solid backup can eventually lead to major draft capital. Dobbs finished his senior season with a streak of five strong games, as he posted a QB rating over 115.0 in four of them while throwing for 12 touchdowns and just one interception.”
Todd McShay, ESPN
Projection: Second Round
Comments: “I would argue he’s the most dangerous runner of all these quarterbacks. To be able to take that mind and put it solely on football, I’m interested to see what the end product would be. I think he’s going to be a second round pick and I think he has a chance to be a real gem from this quarterback class when we look back on it.”
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