Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: QB Joshua Dobbs
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: With the Steelers declining to use a draft pick on a quarterback, that seems to guarantee that Joshua Dobbs will at least make it to training camp to compete against Dwayne Haskins for the number three quarterback position.
While opinions varied as to the realistic possibility of the Steelers actually using a draft pick on a quarterback this year — the team would not deny that they were open to doing so — it wasn’t clear what the fate of the team’s end-of-roster arms would be come the start of May.
Pittsburgh signed former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins to a Reserve/Future contract after the regular season ended. Later on after the start of the new league year, they decided to bring back their former fourth-round pick, Joshua Dobbs on a one-year deal. He is now entering his fifth season after spending three of his first four years (plus one game) with the Steelers.
Dobbs was expected to be on his way out in 2018 when the team drafted Mason Rudolph. He ultimately beat out Landry Jones for the backup quarterback job that year, resulting in Pittsburgh cutting Jones. Dobbs himself would be demoted to third-string a year later when Rudolph surpassed him, and then the Steelers elected to trade him to the Jacksonville Jaguars when they offered a fifth-round pick.
He would spend the remainder of the 2019 season there. As soon as they let him go this past summer, Pittsburgh re-signed him and cut Devlin Hodges, who had made the initial 53-man roster as the third quarterback, and would instead spend the year on the practice squad.
Dobbs was rarely active, but he did dress for the final regular season game when Ben Roethlisberger rested. The Steelers installed a package for him in which he ran a read option, though he did not attempt a true ‘pass’, his five attempts being pitches within that system.
When the Steelers signed Haskins following the season, many wondered if that would be it. Pittsburgh ultimately re-signed Dobbs, as mentioned. It is presumed that he will be here to push Haskins and make sure that he earns his spot on the team, which is far from guaranteed. If he doesn’t, then the rocket scientist stays put. He’s beaten the presumed odds before.