Former Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs has Jon Gruden’s full attention heading into the 2017 NFL Draft.
Dobbs appeared on Gruden’s QB Camp show on ESPN2, which aired Sunday night. The former Vol has ties with Gruden due to Gruden’s friendship that has developed with Butch Jones. It was clear to see that Dobbs and Gruden had some previously built chemistry during the episode. ESPN posted an excerpt form the show as well as Gruden’s opinions on Dobbs and the NFL.
Grudens 5 Takeaways on Joshua Dobbs:
1) Dobbs is the sleeper of this draft
GRUDEN: Dobbs is a rocket scientist who plays like a rocket. He ran for more than 2,000 yards and threw for more than 7,000 yards. Very few people have done what he has done in the SEC, putting up those numbers while winning 20 games in two years. He throws the ball from the pocket better than people think, he can figure out your offense quicker than you can figure it out, and he can really be the sleeper in this draft.
STANLEY: I feel like Dobbs has been a sleeper his entire time at Tennessee. The coaching staff was very high on him when they signed him away from Arizona State before National Signing Day. I do know that Duke was also a big time player for Dobbs late in his recruitment, but his offer list wasn’t massive. It took injuries for Justin Worley in back-to-back seasons for Dobbs to get on the field as a freshman and sophomore. Finally, Dobbs broke through with two full years starting and led the SEC in passing TDs as a senior.
2) The Dak Prescott comparisons resonate
GRUDEN: Dobbs’ production — at least 50 passing touchdowns and at least 30 rushing touchdowns — is right there with Prescott. Both Dobbs and Prescott shredded the SEC, which is really tough to do. Both are dual-threat players. Both have flourished in crunch-time situations. They are very good communicators, and they are mature finishers. And people had some questions coming out of college about how well they could throw the ball. Those are real similarities.
STANLEY: It’s an easy comparison to make: Dobbs and Prescott both had the weight of an offense, a team on their shoulders and were able to make plays with their arms and legs. Both QBs have fantastic leadership abilities and great off the field stories. Prescott benefitted by having a Russell Wilson-like situation presented to him as a rookie. It’s hard to predict what type of situation Dobbs will land in.
3) Dobbs needs to start faster
GRUDEN: Tennessee needed to start faster, and it starts at the quarterback position. Starting faster and setting a tone should be a point of emphasis for Dobbs as he looks to improve.
STANLEY: Couldn’t agree more, Coach Chucky. Tennessee got off to sluggish starts in more than half of its wins: Appalachian State, Virginia Tech, Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M.
4) Dobb’s smarts could come in handy
GRUDEN: The NFL has changed. You can’t spend as much time with players as you once could. You have to understand that, so you need guys who are very sharp who can take a lot of football and digest it in a short period of time. Prescott did it last year. You also need to understand that running quarterbacks are a huge asset in the league right now. Some of the young guys coming up out of high school and college are fierce runners. Dobbs is going to have a niche some place.
STANLEY: We all agree that Joshua Dobbs is a very smart dude. But, can he translate those smarts into quick decisions on the field at the NFL level? He still had head-scratching interceptions during his career that make you question…
5) There is a transition ahead
GRUDEN: The big thing everybody wants to know about Dobbs is how well he throws the football. Can he translate from a no-huddle quarterback to the huddle, slowing the game down, handling a lot of football, putting that intelligence to work and making plays in the pocket consistently? He threw the ball well during our on-field workout. He showed a lot of improvement.
STANLEY: There’s no question that Dobbs will have a steep transition. The best thing about where he might land in the draft (rounds 3-5?) is that the pressure to perform immediately probably won’t be there. If a team like New Orleans or the L.A. Chargers takes Dobbs he’ll be able to sit behind a veteran QB throughout much of the early transition stages.