The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Joshua Dobbs would be the Steelers’ clear-cut number three quarterback if he were currently on the roster.
Explanation: A fourth-round pick in 2017, Dobbs was the third quarterback as a rookie before beating out Landry Jones and a rookie Mason Rudolph in 2018. After Rudolph surpassed him last season, he was traded for a fifth-round pick one game into the season. Had he remained, he would have been in Devlin Hodges’ role, and potentially started several games.
Considering the fact that he was already the number three quarterback for the Steelers entering last season, and it took the team being offered strong compensation for him to part with him, it’s rather reasonable to make the case that he would still be the number three arm.
While Hodges got a lot of experience last year, starting in six games and playing in eight, it’s fair to say that he didn’t necessarily do himself a lot of favors. Nothing that he did while he was successful was surprising, but he finished the year on an awful run.
And Paxton Lynch wasn’t even traded for by another team. He’s been cut by two teams. We might not have seen him in a Steelers uniform yet, but we’ve seen him in Denver and Seattle, and what we’ve seen was far from impressive.
While Dobbs might not be the most accurate player in the world, we saw how far accuracy got Hodges last season. One thing the former has shown is that he can make plays with his legs, and that’s something nobody else at the position on this roster can do. That’s always a desirable trait in a third quarterback.
Hodges has been sold hard down the river for his play as a rookie. That should be all that needs to be said. People should really know better by now than to think they have the book on a guy after his rookie season. Hodges’ issues can be worked on. Dobbs isn’t going to improve his accuracy.
And as for Lynch, he’s always had the tools to be worthy of an NFL roster spot. Maybe not as a starter, but as a number two or three. Perhaps with Matt Canada, he can show something that he hasn’t since being drafted in 2016.