If the Cleveland Browns can’t get a Day-1 starter in the 2017 NFL Draft, why not wait until Day-2 to draft a quarterback?
Hue Jackson wasn’t with the Cincinnati Bengals when the team drafted former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton back in 2011. However, after he rejoined the team a year later, he saw first-hand how the former second-rounder develop into a quality starter.
Now the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Jackson knows that it doesn’t take a first-round pick to secure a starting-caliber quarterback. With the consensus being that no quarterback in this draft class will be ready to start right out of the gate, why do the Browns seem so determined to draft one in the first round?
Article continues below ...
According to some, the Browns might even take a quarterback first overall.
Cleveland has not made up its mind at No. 1, per source. Split opinions. Some like Myles Garrett, some like Mitchell Trubisky. We will see.
Now, if the decision-makers in Cleveland truly believe a guy like North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky can be a future Hall-of-Famer, then, sure, take him at the top of the draft. If the team isn’t sure, however, why not wait until Day 2 and grab a guy like Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs?
The biggest knock on Dobbs is that he will need time to develop. However, that’s the knock on every quarterback this year, so let’s look past it for now. Dobbs might also be a bit light at 6-3 and 216 pounds, but he has the height Jackson wants out of a quarterback. He should be able to add another 10 to 15 pounds to his frame as a pro.
As a passer, there is a lot to like about Dobbs as well. He completed 63 percent of his passes last season and he seems to know how to drive the ball downfield — another trait Jackson wants in his quarterback. According to NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein, Dobbs completed 47.7 of his deep passes in college.
Per Wes Rucker of 247Sports, former NFL wideout Robert Meachem believes Dobbs throws like a pro:
Robert Meachem on #Vols‘ Joshua Dobbs: I’ve seen NFL guys and played with NFL guys, and I’m telling you he throws it like an NFL guy.
Athletically, Dobbs checks all the boxes. He ran an impressive 4.64-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine to go with a 33-inch vertical and a 6.75-second 3-cone drill. This suggests Dobbs can move and buy time in the pocket as a pro while also making the occasional play with his legs. Dobbs also impressed plenty at his pro day workout:
#Vols Bob Welton, former NFL scout, says Dobbs had the best QB workout for NFL scouts that he has ever seen
So ultimately, the question comes back to Dobbs’ pro development and his ability to grasp an NFL playbook and read an NFL defense.
According to ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, Dobbs has already shown the ability to adapt to the pro game. He recently said the following of Dobbs, per Grant Ramey of 247Sports:
Watching him at the Senior Bowl, he was a guy that was getting better everyday, He was clearly picking up what the Cleveland Browns and Hugh Jackson and that offensive coaching staff were giving him. You could see (with) every throw he was gaining more confidence as the week went on. His footwork, timing with drops, timing with receivers, getting the ball out before receivers were breaking kept getting better and better.
…I think he’s going to be a second round pick and I think he has a chance to be a real gem from this quarterback class when we look back on it.
Since Jackson and the Browns coached Dobbs at the Senior Bowl, they have perhaps a better idea than any other team of his potential to grasp the NFL game. Perhaps he won’t even need to sit a full year before taking over Cleveland’s offense.
Remember, the Bengals largely drafted Dalton to be a developmental guy, but handed him the keys to start the regular season with Carson Palmer still holding out. Dalton helped lead Cincinnati to the playoffs that year.
Adding Dobbs in Round 2 would potentially give the Browns their quarterback of the future while still allowing the team to take two players in Round 1 who can make an immediate impact. This is, of course, if Dobbs last until Round 2. McShay recently said on ESPN’s Mike and Mike that he believes the Tennessee product will go early in the second round, adding that he could sneak into the first.
If there is a run on quarterbacks in Round 1, the Browns may be forced to trade up from 33rd overall to get him. Will they consider him, or is the team really high enough on Trubisky or Clemson’s DeShaun Watson to take one early Round 1? In less than a week, we’ll have our answer.