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Joshua Dobbs’ Low 3rd Down College Completion Rate Warrants Deeper Look

While scouting players via their stats is very unadvisable, it doesn’t prevent a lot of us from using it as a starting point in some areas in order to find noticeable deficiencies before diving back into the tape of certain players in order to see what’s really going on.

With that disclaimer now out of the way, I wanted to alert all of you to something I noticed when looking at the college passing stats of new Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Joshua Dobbs and it’s an area of his game that I intend on digging deeper into while going back over his Tennessee games once again. It revolves around his third down passing.

Of the nine quarterbacks that wound up being selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, Dobbs’ third down completion percentage of 48.5 in 2016 was the lowest of the group. Now, if that isn’t alarming enough and thus a very good reason to go back and look at what actually transpired with Dobbs’ third down tape from 2016, the fact that he only completed 40.7% of his third down passes when facing 7 or more yards to go definitely is.

Of the 10 quarterbacks who were drafted this year, Dobbs’ 40.7% completion rate when facing third down and 7 or more yards was way lower than the nine others. In fact, the next two lowest drafted quarterbacks in that statistical category in 2016 were Brad Kaaya (50.8%) and Nathan Peterman (50.9%).

So, did Dobbs face third down and 7 or more quite a bit in 2016 and if so, did that help result in his overall completion rate on that down being 48.5%? In short, no. In fact, of Dobbs’ 99 total third down passing attempts in 2016, only 54.5% of them came on third down with 7 or more yards to go. To give that some perspective, only Deshaun Watson (46.1%), Chad Kelly (53.7%) and Peterman (49.5) had lower percentages of third and long attempts than Dobbs did in 2016 when looking at all 10 of this year’s drafted quarterbacks.

While it will likely take some time, I plan on seeing if I can find all 99 of Dobbs’ third down pass attempts from 2016 and chart them all. At the very least, hopefully I can find his 54 total third down pass attempts when facing 7 or more yards.

While the tape won’t tell us whether Dobbs’ intended targets were properly following their individual assignments, it should show us how accurate the Steelers new quarterback was and how many poor decisions he made.

Dobbs, by the way, completed just 50.5% of all third down pass attempts during his college career at Tennessee. Additionally, his career college completion percentage when facing third down and 7 or longer was 44.0%.

In short, stay tuned for more information on this topic.

2016 third down passing stats of 2017 drafted quarterbacks

PLAYER COLLEGE G ATT CMP PCT YDS YPA TD INT LNG 1ST 15+ 25+
Patrick Mahomes II Texas Tech 12 115 76 66.1 1225 10.65 11 4 62 61 28 14
Mitch Trubisky N Carolina 13 117 75 64.1 926 7.91 7 2 49 50 25 8
Deshaun Watson Clemson 15 152 93 61.2 1239 8.15 14 6 37 73 36 10
DeShone Kizer Notre Dame 12 97 55 56.7 717 7.39 9 2 67 38 20 6
Chad Kelly Miss 9 67 37 55.2 516 7.70 5 2 50 27 16 6
Nathan Peterman Pittsburgh 13 107 58 54.2 904 8.45 12 2 79 41 17 11
Brad Kaaya Miami 13 110 57 51.8 765 6.95 11 2 77 34 16 7
C.J. Beathard Iowa 13 89 46 51.7 422 4.74 5 6 25 21 10 1
Davis Webb California 12 148 74 50.0 968 6.54 7 6 74 52 22 8
Joshua Dobbs Tennessee 13 99 48 48.5 606 6.12 5 5 55 31 15 4

Joshua Dobbs 2016 3rd Down Pass Attempts (7 yards or more to go)

Opponent QRT TIME DWN DIST LOS PLAY BY PLAY RES SUCC AIR
Appalachian St. 1st 8:09 3rd 7 APP 38 J.Dobbs pass complete to P.Williams for 16 yds to the AppSt 22 C Y 15
Appalachian St. 1st 0:00 3rd 18 TENN 32 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Hurd I N 2
Appalachian St. 2nd 5:10 3rd 21 TENN 38 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Hurd for 6 yds to the Tenn 44 C N -4
Appalachian St. 3rd 3:05 3rd 7 APP 21 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to A.Kamara I N -1
Appalachian St. 4th 10:55 3rd 9 TENN 19 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Malone for 14 yds to the Tenn 33 C Y 12
Appalachian St. 4th 7:46 3rd 18 TENN 16 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf I N  7
Appalachian St. 4th 3:20 3rd 21 TENN 32 J.Dobbs pass complete to E.Wolf for 9 yds to the Tenn 41 C N 9
Virginia Tech 2nd 5:41 3rd 15 VT 16 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd I N  27
Virginia Tech 3rd 10:11 3rd 10 VT 29 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings I N 14
Virginia Tech 3rd 7:04 3rd 15 VT 23 J.Dobbs pass complete to A.Kamara for 23 yds for a TD C Y 5
Virginia Tech 3rd 2:25 3rd 13 TENN 37 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith I N 3
Virginia Tech 4th 9:21 3rd 11 TENN 20 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Hurd for 1 yd to the Tenn 21 C N 1
Ohio 1st 4:57 3rd 18 OHIO 35 J.Dobbs pass complete to A.Kamara for -2 yards to the Ohio 37 C N -3
Ohio 2nd 4:55 3rd 7 TENN 31 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone I N 13
Florida 1st 4:32 3rd 11 TENN 40 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone I N  8
Florida 1st 2:44 3rd 7 FLA 43 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd I N 1
Florida 2nd 8:57 3rd G FLA 7 J.Dobbs pass intercepted, touchback INT N 15
Florida 3rd 4:20 3rd 8 TENN 34 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to A.Kamara I N 16
Florida 4th 11:48 3rd 10 FLA 42 J.Dobbs J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Malone for 42 yds for a TD C Y 10
Georgia 1st 11:03 3rd 9 TENN 47 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith I N 13
Georgia 1st 7:12 3rd 8 UGA 34 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Hurd I N -4
Georgia 3rd 12:40 3rd 7 UGA 40 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Malone for 11 yds to the Geo 29 C Y 11
Georgia 3rd 3:04 3rd 9 TENN 28 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone I N 34
Texas A&M 1st 7:34 3rd 7 TENN 38 J.Dobbs pass complete to A.Kamara for 55 yds fumbled C Y -3
Texas A&M 2nd 5:20 3rd 8 TENN 16 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf I N 4
Texas A&M 3rd 13:17 3rd 10 TENN 40 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Malone for 27 yds to the TexAM 33 C Y 14
Texas A&M 3rd 9:49 3rd 10 TENN 18 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Kelly for 12 yds to the Tenn 30 C Y -3
Texas A&M 4th 13:13 3rd 23 TA&M 43 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith I N 12
Texas A&M 4th 9:20 3rd 10 TENN 36 J.Dobbs pass complete to A.Kamara for 13 yds to the Tenn 49 C Y -7
Texas A&M 4th 2:40 3rd 10 TA&M 49 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Croom for 9 yds to the TexAM 40 C N 5
Alabama 1st 0:14 3rd 7 ALA 37 J.Dobbs pass intercepted by R.Harrison for a TD INT N -5
Alabama 2nd 10:40 3rd 8 TENN 26 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings I N 16
Alabama 2nd 5:15 3rd 10 TENN 35 J.Dobbs pass complete to A.Kamara for 3 yds to the Tenn 38 C N 3
Alabama 3rd 10:15 3rd 14 TENN 35 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Hurd I N 2
Alabama 3rd 4:55 3rd 10 ALA 23 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Jennings for 4 yds to the Alab 19 C N 4
South Carolina 1st 7:12 3rd 21 TENN 42 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd I N  4
South Carolina 2nd 13:45 3rd 17 TENN 14 J.Dobbs pass intercepted by J.King INT N 15
South Carolina 2nd 11:35 3rd 9 TENN 26 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf I N 4
South Carolina 2nd 7:58 3rd 13 TENN 30 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith I N  6
South Carolina 3rd 7:51 3rd 10 TENN 45 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to nobody I N 2
South Carolina 4th 14:09 3rd 11 TENN 15 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Croom I N 11
Tennessee Tech 1st 3:40 3rd 7 TENN 30 J.Dobbs pass complete to B.Johnson for 21 yds to the TnTch 49 C Y 13
Missouri 1st 6:01 3rd 8 MIZ 49 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Jennings for 49 yds for a TD C Y 27
Missouri 2nd 12:07 3rd 7 MIZ 29 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone I N 13
Missouri 2nd 8:00 3rd 7 MIZ 36 J.Dobbs pass complete to A.Kamara for 10 yds to the Misso 26 C Y 6
Missouri 3rd 8:51 3rd 11 TENN 24 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith I N 10
Vanderbilt 3rd 7:46 3rd G VAN 7 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf I N 7
Vanderbilt 4th 12:06 3rd 17 VAN 19 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd I N  9
Nebraska 1st 11:46 3rd 11 NEB 33 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings I N 32
Nebraska 1st 6:43 3rd 14 TENN 41 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith I N 9
Nebraska 2nd 4:45 3rd 7 TENN 25 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Malone for 10 yds to the Tenn 35 C Y 10
Nebraska 2nd 3:26 3rd 21 TENN 38 J.Dobbs pass complete to J.Jennings for 15 yds to the Neb 47 C N 5
Nebraska 2nd 1:05 3rd 10 TENN 40 J.Dobbs pass complete to A.Kamara for 12 yds to the Neb 48 C Y 5
Nebraska 4th 6:00 3rd 13 TENN 36 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone I N 38
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