FLOWERY BRANCH — Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Joshua Dobbs, formerly of Tennessee and Alpharetta High, fought through some tough times in his NFL debut on Friday.
Dobbs, and the Steelers, are set to host the Atlanta Falcons at 4 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field.
Dobbs, starting for the Steelers, completed 8 of 15 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown in a 20-12 victory over the New York Giants. He had two interceptions, was sacked three times and finished with quarterback rating of 56.9.
But longtime Steelers beat writer Ed Bouchette raved about a couple of deep throws by Dobbs, who graduated with his degree in aerospace engineering.
Quarterback Josh Dobbs, who started, was shaky early with two interceptions and some questionable scrambles, but he did throw a gorgeous 28-yard touchdown pass to Cobi Hamilton and had another scoring pass scratched by a holding penalty.
Dobbs was selected in the fourth-round of the draft. The same round the Cowboys found Dak Prescott last season as NFL scouts have traditionally struggled with their quarterback projections: Manning vs. Leaf; Ryan vs. Flacco and Chad Henne, Goff vs. Wentz and Trubisky vs. Watson.
With Ben Roethlisberger inching toward retirement, the Steelers are trying to find out if they have a future starter in Dobbs.
Here’s what we wrote for Dobbs’ combine capsule:
Could he be this year’s Dak Prescott? Over 37 games, Dobbs completed 614 of 999 passes for 7,138 yards. He also rushed for 2,160 yards and 32 touchdowns as he led a Rocky Top revival. Finished Tennessee career with a 23-12 record (including 3-0 in bowls) as starting quarterback, tying Condredge Holloway (1972-74) for the fifth-most wins by starting quarterback. Set school record for career rushing yards by a quarterback (2,160), career rushing touchdowns by a QB (32), single-season rushing yards by a quarterback (831 in 2016) and single-season rushing touchdowns by a QB (12 in 2016). NFLDraftScout has Dobbs rated as the 10th best quarterback in the draft and are projected that he’ll be drafted in the seventh round.
It’s not hard to root for a kid with a aerospace engineering degree. He should be able to prove that football isn’t exactly rocket science.
2017 ATLANTA FALCONS 90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS