Former Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs heard the buzz about him likely being a second-round NFL draft pick, perhaps even a first rounder.
But Day One went by, he wasn’t picked. Day Two went by, he wasn’t picked. The first three rounds of the draft didn’t reveal the name of Josh Dobbs.
But in Round 4 Saturday, Dobbs was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers as several friends and family members gathered around his house in Alpharetta, Ga., to celebrate.
“It really tests your patience to say the least, watching other names go before you,’’ Dobbs said Saturday on a teleconference call. “But it’s all part of the process. At the end of the day, you’re blessed with the opportunity you have, so go out and make the most of the opportunity.
“I’m very excited about where I ended up. It’s a great situation, a great organization. I can’t imagine it any other way.’’
Dobbs said he hopes to bring the same “toughness’’ and “winning attitude’’ he brought to Tennessee four years ago.
He also said looks forward to being an understudy to two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Rothleisberger, whom Dobbs called “a further Hall of Famer.’’
Dobbs added: `’My goal is to go in there and compete and be the best Josh Dobbs I can be and be ready when my name is called.’’
Dobbs was selected with the 135th overall pick. Dobbs is the first UT quarterback to be selected since Jonathon Crompton in 2010.
Ironically, Dallas took Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott with the 135th pick last year and Prescott not only won the starting job with the Cowboys but took home NFL rookie of the year honors over teammate Ezekiel Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing. Prescott led Dallas to a 13-3 record and many felt Prescott’s performance would elevate the draft stock of Dobbs.
The twist of fate was not lost on Dobbs.
“God definitely works in mysterious ways, I’ll say that,’’ Dobbs said. “It was really awesome to watch Dak last year and see him take advantage of the opportunity. I’ve taken a lot of notes from that book.’’
Dobbs has also taken note of the skill players he will be surrounded with at Pittsburgh. He’ll have a wealth of receivers, led by All-Pro Antonio Brown, and All-Pro running back LaVeon Bell, one of the NFL’s best at all-purpose yards.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones coached Brown at Central Michigan and has frequently invoked his name. How often has Jones mentioned Brown’s name?
“More times than there are days in those four years,’’ Dobbs said. “It will be an honor to meet him (Brown).’’
Dobbs is looking forward to reuniting with cornerback Cam Sutton, a UT teammate and friend since they played pee-wee ball against each other in the fourth grade.
“We’ve been great friends over the past four years,’’ Dobbs said. “He was one of the first people that called me (after Dobbs was drafted). I’ll be excited to see him in Pittsburgh.’’
Dobbs said he visited Pittsburgh on the Monday after UT’s pro day in March and knew the Steelers had an interest in him.
Also, Tennessee had six players taken in the first four rounds of the draft – the most since 2002.