I’m still baffled as to why the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft when they were just a year removed from using a fourth round draft pick on former Tennessee Vols quarterback Josh Dobbs.
Sure, Dobbs didn’t show much during his rookie season. He didn’t even see any regular season action, playing behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones.
But isn’t that kind of what you expect for a rookie quarterback selected in the mid-rounds by a team with an established offensive leader like Roethlisberger?
Spending a third round pick on Rudolph this year was foolish. Cutting Dobbs in favor of Rudolph (or Landry Jones) would be even more foolish.
Dobbs has thoroughly outplayed Rudolph during pre-season action so far. Especially in the Steelers’ last game (a 51-34 loss to the Green Bay Packers).
Has Dobbs been perfect?
No, of course not.
He’s been helped out by some tremendous adjustments on imperfect throws by his wide receivers.
Josh Dobbs with the 🚀 💰pic.twitter.com/gKzapKgySi
— Marc Whiteman (@MarcWhiteman) August 17, 2018
At the end of the day, however, the numbers don’t lie — Dobbs has been more efficient than Rudolph.
It’s clear to most folks in Pittsburgh that the former Vol signal caller is a much better NFL quarterback than he was a year ago.
Josh Dobbs is making the right reads and making good enough throws to move the ball. So much better than last year.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 17, 2018
There’s a decision to be made
I can understand why the Steelers would want to keep Rudolph (even if I don’t understand selecting him in the draft). Teams typically aren’t enamored with the idea of releasing a player they used a third round pick to select. And it seems unlikely they’ll be able to sneak Rudolph onto the practice squad (another team would probably sign him to their active roster).
But it’s also obvious that Dobbs is a better option — at least at this point.
That’s why I think Pittsburgh would be wise to move on from Landry Jones. It’s abundantly clear that Dobbs and Rudolph both have a higher ceiling than Jones. The biggest argument for making Jones the primary backup last season was his familiarity with the Steelers’ offense.
I think we’ve seen during pre-season action, however, that Dobbs is capable of running the offense if Roethlisberger goes down.
If the Steelers are smart, they’ll release Jones, make Dobbs the primary backup quarterback, and keep Rudolph around to see if he blossoms into a potential starting quarterback.
It’s obvious that Landry Jones isn’t the future starting quarterback of the Steelers.
But Dobbs or Rudolph could be.
I think it’s an easy decision for Pittsburgh.
Featured image via USA Today