After spending 17 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their Director of Pro Scouting and ultimately their General Manager, one would think Mark Dominik should know a thing or two when it comes to scouting players. Dominick, who is currently an analyst for ESPN and a show host on SiriusXM NFL Radio, had some interesting comments about new Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Joshua Dobbs during a Thursday episode of ‘Late Hits.’
In short, Dominik was asked about the Steelers backup quarterback situation heading into the 2017 season and he said it’s in his belief that Dobbs will overtake Landry Jones for the No. 2 spot behind starter Ben Roethlisberger by the time Week 1 rolls around.
“I think Josh Dobbs beats him [Jones] out already this year and become the No. 2 this year for the Pittsburgh Steelers and I think Josh Dobbs becomes, possibly, the heir apparent,” Dominik said. “I just really think that if Josh Dobbs is fully dialed-in to the NFL and devotes himself in the way that I think he will – I personally think he will – from a cerebral standpoint and from an arm talent standpoint, he can do it.
“There’s a reason why they [Pittsburgh] took him in the fourth-round and sure, is that late, and if he was really that good, why didn’t they take him in the first or second? I don’t know, but the fact is, I thought Josh Dobbs could have been a second-round-type of quarterback because of his skill set, because of who he is, because of his arm talent and because I think once he’s – I mean, this guy was a rocket scientist.”
So, is that a bold prediction? I certainly think so and especially being as Dominik thinks Dobbs can overtake Jones by the start of the regular season. Let’s face it, while Jones certainly isn’t the future, he still has some experience and like it or not, the Steelers likely trust him to be Roethlisberger’s backup at least a little while longer and potentially through the entire 2017 season at the very least.
Dominik talked a little about Jones at the beginning of the interview and addressed the Steelers signing him to a two-year contract extension at the start of free agency this past March.
“The reason that Landry Jones got the contract that he did, he’s a phenomenal person,” Dominik said. “Like, he’s a really good locker room guy.”
It’s hard to imagine that the Steelers only gave Jones a two-year contract because they think he’s a great locker room guy. However, the Steelers had to do something ahead of the draft being as they were unsure if they would eventually get another quarterback they liked during the 2017 NFL Draft. They obviously weren’t enamored with Zach Mettenberger as he was jettisoned almost immediately after they selected Dobbs in the fourth-round.
After thoroughly examining Dobbs’ play at Tennessee following the Steelers selecting him, I like him more than I did going into the draft and I do believe he can develop into a better player than Jones currently is. With that said, I think it’s going to take some time for that to happen and at least one full year.
Dobbs should get plenty of playing time during the preseason and it will definitely be fun to see what kind of strides he makes during those games. Can he ultimately outplay Jones between now and the start of the regular season and overtake him on the quarterback depth chart? Time will tell, but it’s obvious that Dominik believes he can.
“I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who Josh Dobbs was just for myself, but also for the draft process to be able to talk about him and talking through him and around him, I’m pretty confident he really loves ball and wants to play ball,” Dominik said. “And if he does that, he’ll figure this offense out with Todd Haley and I think he’ll be a very exciting player to watch. So, as much as your concern is fair because you’re worried Ben’s going to get knocked down, I think Josh Dobbs is your No. 2 quarterback when it gets to the regular season.”