NFL scouts take ‘leap of faith’ on Josh Dobbs’ passing ability at this stage
HOOVER, Ala. — Josh Dobbs has plenty to prove to NFL scouts, but Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage said Tennessee’s quarterback is already known for his intangibles.
“The fact is that he is an outstanding dual-threat college quarterback,” said Savage, a former Bill Belichick assistant who went on to become director of college scouting for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and general manager of the Cleveland Browns.
“Josh certainly has the intellect, he’s got the character, he’s got a lot of things that are positives, but I do think that the NFL scouts will say, ‘OK, we’ve got to take a bit of a leap of faith in terms of what we think he can become as a passer,’” Savage said. “He reminds me a bit of Dak Prescott, but probably not as advanced of a passer at this stage.”
Prescott was also thicker, measuring it at 6-foot-2 and 226 pounds — Tennessee lists Dobbs at 6-3, 210.
Prescott was selected 135th overall in the most recent NFL draft, a fourth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys.
CBS Sports ranks Dobbs third among the quarterbacks in the upcoming draft, behind Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly and Iowa’s C.J. Beathard, and ahead of No. 4 Seth Russell (Baylor) and No. 5 Cooper Rush (Central Michigan).
Savage said Dobbs is the top Tennessee offensive prospect on the Senior Bowl’s radar, but there’s still work to be done.
“I saw Josh down at the Manning Academy a few weeks ago, and he threw the ball well there, I wouldn’t say it was just over-the-top impressive,” Savage said. “He has one year, one season, to continue to prove what he needs to prove, and he’s going to be evaluated.”
Dobbs, a rising senior from Alpharetta, Ga., completed 59.6 percent of his passes for 2,291 yards with 15 touchdowns and five touchdowns last season. Dobbs also rushed for 671 yards on 146 attempts for the Vols.
The Senior Bowl, which annually attracts hundreds of NFL personnel types, from owners and general managers to head coaches and scouts, will take place on Jan. 28, 2017, in Mobile, Ala.
Dobbs, however, is completely focused on Tennessee’s upcoming season.
The Vols’ senior captain wouldn’t look beyond his team’s opening game at SEC Media Days last week.
Dobbs declined to discuss UT’s Sept. 24 showdown with Florida despite the Gators’ boastful words a day earlier.
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee athletics for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s SEC Country and is based in Knoxville.