Former Tennessee Vols quarterback Josh Dobbs was recently traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a fifth round draft pick.
Here are three reasons why I think the trade was the best thing that could have happened to Dobbs at this point in his career.
1. Pittsburgh moved on
Signs of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ uncertainty with Dobbs became apparent in last year’s draft when they selected Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third round. Rudolph was inactive for all 16 regular season games in his rookie season.
However, during the off season, I (along with many people) speculated that Rudolph had a legitimate chance to take the No. 2 quarterback spot on the depth chart from Dobbs.
As the preseason played out, and Rudolph continued to impress (throwing for 368 yards and four touchdowns over four games), the speculation grew.
It became official on August 30 when ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Rudolph beat out Dobbs for the backup spot behind the aging Ben Roethlisberger. This move was Pittsburgh, essentially, choosing Rudolph over Dobbs as the next potential franchise quarterback.
When Pittsburgh made it official, I knew that Dobbs would be desired by a franchise needing a reliable backup or potential quarterback for the future.
2. He already feels comfortable in the new system
Every Vol fan knows that Josh Dobbs, the aerospace engineering graduate, is a very smart person. But even they had to be surprised to hear that he already felt comfortable in Jacksonville’s system just a few days after being traded.
He stated on Friday, per Jaguars.com, “It meshes with my talents a lot. It has very similar concepts to what I’ve run in college.”
If I’m a Jags fan, that quote makes me very excited. Dobbs threw for over 5,000 yards, rushed for just over 1,500, and totaled 67 touchdowns (including a pair of TD catches) in his two years as a full-time Tennessee Vols starter.
Josh Dobbs believes Jaguars’ system ‘meshes’ with his talentshttps://t.co/7S7tjBebEv
— Jaguars Nation (@JaguarsNationCP) September 13, 2019
I know that was college and playing in the NFL is drastically different. However, the biggest struggle, typically, for first-time starters in the league, is adjusting to a new, pro-style offense. If Dobbs already feels comfortable in the system after a few days, he could potentially move ahead of other quarterbacks in terms of functioning in the offensive scheme at some point this season.
3. Potential for significant playing time
Jacksonville traded for Dobbs because starter Nick Foles broke his clavicle early in week one and will miss at least 10 weeks. This left them with only two quarterbacks: rookie Gardner Minshew and practice squad quarterback Chase Litton.
Minshew is now the starter in Duvall County and he played well in his unexpected debut. He is the first player in 40 years to complete his first 13 passes.
However, I do not believe his role as starter is locked down, at the moment.
It is easy to get caught up in the hype but don’t forget, he’s still a rookie quarterback. Rookies can easily fluctuate between highs and lows from week to week. Minshew showed out in his debut, but Kansas City is not exactly known for a strong defense.
The AFC South has a lot of strength on defense. Tennessee’s and Indy’s defenses played very well last week. Houston’s defense blew a halftime lead but showed potential. It could be very easy for a rookie quarterback to struggle against these defenses.
If Minshew continuously struggles against these defenses, or any other defense, then Dobbs could see significant playing time. Especially given that he is already comfortable in the offense. It also doesn’t hurt that he is the most experienced quarterback on the roster.
I don’t think Jacksonville is completely sold on Minshew. If they are, they wouldn’t give up a fifth-round pick for a young backup.
It was clear Josh Dobbs’ future in Pittsburgh was murky at best. Being traded to Jacksonville was the best thing for him. This could evolve into an opportunity to show the Jags, or any other team, that he can lead a team.
I truly believe that the former Tennessee Vols quarterback has the potential to be a full-time starter in the NFL.
Photo credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports