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2017 NFL Draft: Can Chargers Find Rivers’ Successor? - Part 2

The dual-threat QB from Tennessee could become a star.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday we looked at Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly as a potential late round draft pick for the Los Angeles Chargers. Now, we’ll look at another SEC quarterback this time from the University of Tennessee – Joshua Dobbs.

Joshua Dobbs – 6-3 216 lbs. 2,946 yards 27 TDs 12 INTs 63%

Dobbs has never been questioned about his character or his physical ability to play the game at a high level. As an aerospace engineering major at UT, Dobbs has been highly regarded as one of the smartest quarterbacks in this year’s draft class both in and out of the classroom.

The draft range for Dobbs falls anywhere between the fourth round to undrafted. NFL scouting analysis, Matt Miller, tweet before the 2017 Senior Bowl that he didn’t have a “draftable” grade for Joshua Dobbs.

Dobbs finished the Senior Bowl 12 of 15 for 104 yards and an interception in less than a half. Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson said “I thought he ran the offense, moved the ball and did the things we thought we could do. He did a good job.”


At 6 foot 3 inches and 216 pounds, Dobbs has a powerful stature that can easily see over his offensive lineman and knock over defensive backs with his running ability. A three-year starter for the Volunteers, Dobbs was the leader for the program and likely is the only reason why Butch Jones is still coaching for the team.

In 2016, Dobbs passed for 2,946 yards with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Finishing with a 63% competition percentage but his ability to keep plays alive and execute the spread offense efficiently makes Dobbs an interesting prospect. In 35 career games, Dobbs rushed for 2,798 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Watching his film, Dobbs showed that he can make just about every pass on the field. Watching him throw out routes and placing the ball where only the receiver can get it is so fun to watch. Throwing the ball as the receiver breaks on the route is a definite strength of Dobbs. This also shows Dobbs quick release, which can be forgotten about when scouting quarterbacks.

The quick release helped Dobbs finish 2016 with a 47.7% on throws of 21-plus yards including 14 touchdowns. Dobbs did a good job going through his progressions but there were often times he would spend too much time and then force bad decisions.


As with most quarterbacks these days, footwork for Dobbs failed him in placing the ball in the right areas which would lead to several incompletions. Looking at Dobbs vs Appalachian State showed several throws that came off his back foot and some bad pre-snap reads.

Oftentimes, Dobbs felt more comfortable scrambling around rather than stepping up into the pocket and delivering a pass. Then followed by ball security issues with 10 fumbles, tied third most for quarterbacks in 2016.

Final Take

I like Joshua Dobbs but he would not fit the Chargers scheme and his failure to place the ball consistently to his receivers scares me. They say a quarterback’s completion percentage drops at least ten percent when they come to the league.

Like with all quarterbacks in this class, sitting under Philip Rivers is a tremendous opportunity but for the Chargers, there are other players that would better suit the team. Dobbs will find a team this season but it won’t be the Los Angeles Chargers.

Tuesday, we’ll look at a quarterback that isn’t getting much love from scouts and the media but has a chip on his shoulder and could be the next quarterback in waiting for the Chargers - Penn’ Alek Torgersen.