The Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted two young quarterbacks since 2017. Here’s why Josh Dobbs offers more upside than Mason Rudolph.
For reasons I really can’t explain, quarterback Joshua Dobbs seems to be getting swept under the rug. Most fans have already jumped on the Mason Rudolph bandwagon, and there are many who believe the Oklahoma State product will be the answer for the Steelers after Ben Roethlisberger is gone.
While Mason Rudolph offers some intrigue as a nearly 6’5”, 235 pound pocket passer, don’t sleep on what Josh Dobbs brings to the table. Here are a few reasons why Dobbs has more upside as an eventual starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers:
Josh Dobbs is unquestionably more mobile than Mason Rudolph. We have seen great quarterbacks (like Tom Brady) who are statues in the pocket with very limited mobility to move around and extend plays. While mobility isn’t one of the most important factors in determining a quarterback’s success, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a set of wheels.
We know that Josh Dobbs can fly (as evidenced by his 2,160 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns at Tennessee). However, it’s not just his running ability, but his ability to move around the pocket that is so impressive. Dobbs is an expert at eluding pressure. He showcased his ability to do this last year in preseason, and he is fantastic at extending plays.
Rudolph, on the other hand, has very limited mobility. When passing in rhythm, he does a great job. However, when the play breaks down, Rudolph really struggles. Rudolph is not evasive in the pocket. Because of this, the ball will have to come out quick with him at the helm.
Josh Dobbs is just a few months older than Rudolph, so age is not an issue. While they were both big-time quarterbacks in their respective conferences during their college years, Dobbs has a leg up on Rudolph.
Mason Rudolph is coming from the Big 12 – a conference known for it’s lack of defense. He was often able to sling the ball to a wide open James Washington, and was aided in the assistance of good skill position players.
In the preseason last year, Rudolph boasted a passer rating of 90.6, but completed just 54.5 percent of his throws on 7.2 yards per attempt. On the other hand, Josh Dobbs’ 112.0 passer rating was the 6th best in the preseason among quarterbacks with at least 20 attempts. He also completed 67.4 percent of his throws and averaged 10.1 yards per pass attempt.
When it comes to experience, Dobbs has the upper hand.
While neither quarterback possesses a cannon quite like Patrick Mahomes, both have capable arms. They both have some touch to their game, though the edge would probably go to Rudolph in this department. However, Dobbs throws with more velocity.
Velocity might not seem like an important trait, but it could be the difference in throwing a first down or an interception on an out route. Josh Dobbs has displayed excellent ability to rifle the ball into a window when need be.
He showed this during the Ravens game last season. After stepping in for a banged up Ben Roethlisberger for a play, Dobbs was backed into his own endzone but threw a 22 yard bullet on a rope for a first down.
Rudolph can throw the ball deep down the field, but doesn’t have the velocity you would like to see in a franchise quarterback most of the time.
Though Dobbs and Rudolph were both great college football players, I have to believe that Josh Dobbs possesses more upside as an eventual starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He took a huge step forward last season. If he continues to progress at this rate, perhaps he could be a suitable replacement for Big Ben when he decides to call it quits.