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
|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|
|DeShone Kizer||Notre Dame||12||97||55||56.7||717||7.39||9||2||67||38||20||6|
Joshua Dobbs 2016 3rd Down Pass Attempts (7 yards or more to go)