New Faces 2017: QB Joshua Dobbs

We are now at a point during the offseason in which we find ourselves looking at training camp just around the corner for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the league, and a lot has changed for them over the course of the past several months. They have lost a number of players in free agency, through releases, and retirements. But they have also brought in a number of new faces to replace them.

We all know that roster turnover is an ever-present reality for today’s rosters, and it seems that over the course of the past half-decade or so even the Steelers have proven to be as susceptible to the annual shakeup as anybody. With that in mind, we should take the time to get to know some of the new faces with training camp soon to be here.

So now it’s time for everybody’s favorite draft pick—or at least their second-favorite, behind sixth-round selection Colin Holba. That’s right, we are now moving on to discussing the Steelers’ fourth-round draft pick, quarterback Joshua Dobbs.

It would seem that the primary objection to the Dobbs pick was more about the position that was drafted—and the positions that were not drafted—rather than the player in particular that was selected. This was my initial objection as well.

But many have gradually warmed up to him over time, even if very few are holding out hope that he will actually develop into a future franchise quarterback. Of course, the Steelers didn’t draft him with that in the forefront of their minds. Right now, they just want Dobbs to get into camp and prove to be quality depth.

The Tennessee product does have a lot of things to like about him. For one thing, while he is kind of small for the position, he is very athletic and mobile. This is especially helpful for inexperienced quarterbacks as they learn the game.

I do not sense that Dobbs will be the type of quarterback who resorts to running while passing up better options. He has the intelligence to understand that his job is to stay in the pocket and make the play until he can’t, and then seek to run.

Of course, his intelligence has been the most widely discussed trait about him, and for good reason, but I think it will be his leadership qualities that become most important. He may not have put up the most glowing statistics, but he rallied his battered team late last season and put up some of his best numbers down the stretch, and in the fourth quarter generally.

Dobbs should expect to serve as the third quarterback this season and likely spend most of the year inactive, but it will be an important learning experience for him. It’s not impossible that he wins the backup job at some point, although I wouldn’t get my hopes up for those who want to see Landry Jones in street clothes.

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