Josh Dobbs is the Cleveland Browns’ second quarterback for the first 11 games of the 2022 season. What do we know of him and what can we expect of him should he end up getting game time before Deshaun Watson returns in game 12 against the Houston Texans?
Josh Dobbs was brought up in Alpharetta, Georgia, and started playing competitive football at five. In his senior year with the Alpharetta Raiders, he threw for 3,625 yards and 29 touchdowns. He initially committed to Arizona State University before changing to Tennessee and was a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com and a four-star recruit according to Scout.com. He majored in aerospace engineering and was named to the SEC Academic Honour Roll.
As a freshman in 2013, Dobbs completed 72 121 passes for 695 yards in five games with two touchdowns and six interceptions. He rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown. In his sophomore season, Dobbs competed to be the starter and won the role in November 2014. In six games, he threw for 1,206 yards, with nine touchdowns, andrushed for 469 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2015 Dobbs was the starting quarterback and started all 12 regular season games plus their Bowl game. Tennessee had a 9-4 record, and Dobbs threw for 2,291 yards and 15 touchdowns with 205 completions of 344 attempts and a completion percentage of 59.6%. In 2016 he was again the starting quarterback and appeared in all 12 regular season games and the Bowl game. His stats improved further to 2,946 yards and 27 touchdowns, with 225 completed passes of 357 attempts and a completion percentage of 63%. He finished with a quarterback rating of 150.6 and another 9-4 record.
Josh Dobbs entered the 2017 draft where most NFL draft experts projected him to be a fourth or fifth-round pick. Mike Maycock projected him to be selected in the second round, and NFL.com projected him to be drafted in the third round. ESPN ranked him the seventh-best quarterback in the draft, and Sports Illustrated ranked him the eighth best. In the end, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in round four with pick 135.
Dobbs hasn’t played much football in the NFL. Since being drafted and in regular season games for the Steelers, he’s completed ten of 17 attempts for 45 yards, one interception, and has a completion percentage of 58.8%.
The Cleveland Browns’ have used him extensively in their pre-season games, and he’s looked outstanding, particularly against the Philadelphia Eagles. He completed 14 of 19 attempted passes for 141 yards, and PFF gave him a grade of 81.9. The Browns gave him some more challenging throws, including difficult ones into Cover 3. He went four of five throws against the blitz for 27 yards and was 12 of 16 on non-play action throws for 122 yards. Equally as impressive, he went five of six on medium-distance throws for 77 yards, which are often the riskiest throws as they are frequently into tight coverage.
He was successful with 10 of 19 throws downfield with only one ball greater than 20 yards but was four of five for 36 yards when playing behind the line of scrimmage. Dobbs is a pocket passer who can also scramble when necessary, rushing for 55 yards against the Eagles. He earned a 126.4 quarterback rating making easy reads, showing good balance, and transferring his weight well when throwing. Observations from training camp are that he’s been practicing repeatedly throwing on the run, which was evident against the Eagles.
From what little we have seen, it would appear that Dobbs has been an underutilized quarterback. The Cleveland Browns’ are currently transitioning their quarterback room, and Watson and Dobbs are similar in style, so it may be that for season 2023, Joshua Dobbs is elevated to number two behind Deshaun Watson. Both are pocket passers who can scramble very effectively and make an exciting team that will be difficult to scheme against.
We’re hiring multiple contributing writers for the 2022 season! Please apply here!