NFL Draft 2017: Steelers steal QB Josh Dobbs, this year's Dak Prescott, at same spot

Pittsburgh grabs the former Tennessee signal caller in the fourth round.

With the No. 135 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Steelers drafted Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs. It's appropriate. It was the same exact pick at which the Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott in '16 — because Dobbs has the same kind or SEC pedigree and NFL potential.

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Dallas thought it was taking a quarterback for the future in Prescott, but ended up with its next franchise passer in the wake of what was a season-ending and career-curbing injury to then 36-year-old Tony Romo. Pittsburgh, at some point, was bound to get a quarterback to groom too, given 35-year-old Ben Roethlisberger hinted he may not play beyond the '17 season.

Like Prescott (6-2, 226) at Mississippi State, Dobbs (6-3, 216) starred with the Volunteers because of his arm, toughness and athleticism. He also needs to improve in the same areas Prescott did when he entered the league a year ago to be successful— decision-making and accuracy.

Dobbs is also smart and experienced enough to be a fast learner. He comes in with the backyard playmaking and physical mobility that Big Ben has exhibited in Pittsburgh throughout his career. Outside of Clemson's Deshaun Watson, who went No. 12 overall to the Texans in the first round, Dobbs was best the Steelers-styled quarterback prospect in this class.

It's a great landing spot for Dobbs, in an established high-powered, balanced offense where he's a natural fit for what offensive coordinator Todd Haley wants to do. When the Steelers brought in Roethlisberger in 2004, they provided him with pretty good support in a solid defense and effective running game. But Big Ben has only had this kind of offensive skill around him since 2013— when Le'Veon Bell was drafted and Antonio Brown broke out. The Steelers also gave up just 21 sacks last season, second fewest in the league.

While Prescott's potential became kinetic quickly because of his hard work, it also happened because the on-field support from the offensive line to the running game to the pass-catchers, was there at every level. The hard part is easy for Pittsburgh, and Dobbs also comes with similar leadership intangibles that simply can't be taught. It's a likely Big Ben, as bruised and battered as he is, misses a few more games in 2017, as he's missed six over the past two seasons. Landry Jones already has proved his ceiling is as an adequate backup. Dobbs has the potential to go through the Heinz Field roof in a scheme already suited to his skill set.

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It's unlikely the Steelers intended to copycat the Cowboys with their fourth-round decision this year. But with Dobbs, it can pay off more than expected, much earlier than expected.


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