Football has finally returned to our television sets after months of endless waiting.
Speaking of waiting, the Hall of Fame game on Thursday, August 5 was the first preseason game we’ve witnessed in over two years thanks to the COVID pandemic.
While the fans seemed to get a great kick out of it, they weren’t the only ones watching this contest. New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas was watching this game very closely to see if there were any players he could potentially poach away in the near future.
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Under the Radar, Quarterback Could Soon Reach Unrestricted Free Agency
The Jets finally added a veteran quarterback to the rotation when they signed free agent Josh Johnson. To some, it was a sigh of relief when you consider the unreal inexperience at the position. Although to others, this was an underwhelming addition to the roster that lacked sizzle.
If you were a member of the latter, perhaps there is still another quarterback they could add later down the line that could fit the bill.
During the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers faced off against the Dallas Cowboys to kick off the preseason slate unofficially.
Three quarterbacks for the black and yellow got reps:
- Dwayne Haskins
- Mason Rudolph
- Joshua Dobbs
When you consider Ben Roethlisberger as the locked-in starter and that most teams keep two or three quarterbacks on the final 53-man roster, someone will eventually shake free from this group.
The last player in that preseason rotation was Dobbs, the former Tennessee Volunteer. Not only is he a capable passer, but he’s also a freaking rocket scientist.
During his collegiate career, he majored in aerospace engineering. Most players put whatever they majored in college to the side while they pursue a life in the NFL, but Dobbs has found a way to juggle both balls.
When the 26-year old eventually decides to hang up his cleats he’s destined to make a difference in our community and potentially change the world with his experience in rocket science.
Although he has no plans to pursue that full-time with his eyes set on carving out a long-term career in football. Dobbs started out with the Steelers and spent three years there before he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fifth-rounder.
Eventually, he returned to the Steelers and is fighting for a spot on their final roster. That seems unlikely based on the rest of the depth chart and the Jets should have a legitimate interest if he shakes free.
There is no one on the current roster that projects as a long-term career backup. Zach Wilson is clearly the present and future, but Jets fans should know better than anyone that a strong backup option is paramount to keeping the train rolling.
While Dobbs has only played in six career games, he’s a highly intelligent player that could pick up an offensive system very quickly. Heck, this guy is a rocket scientist for Pete’s sake, what can’t this man do?
Frankly, I just love the upside:
- Age (only 26 years old)
- Solid size (6-foot-3, 216 pounds)
- High IQ both in life and in football
- Potential to grow and develop in this system
Other Players From The Hall of Fame Game Jets Could Target
This Hall of Fame Game was a golden opportunity for the other 30 NFL teams in the league to do some serious scouting. While some fans and analysts have overlooked this game as nothing more than a “glorified football practice”, they’re missing some potential diamonds in the rough.
Whoever loses the game of musical chairs at linebacker for America’s Team
Big D is overflowing with talent at linebacker with stars in Micah Parsons, Jaylon Smith, and Leighton Vander-Esch. Then when you look at the depth chart with guys like Keanu Neal and Jabril Cox, can they all make the roster? Seems hard to imagine and if anyone shakes free, Douglas should be waiting on line one.
Israel Mukuamu, cornerback, South Carolina
The inexperience at corner has been well documented this offseason for the Jets. Mukuamu is someone I’ve had my eye on since the 2021 NFL draft: lanky (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) and is overflowing with potential. He was a late-day three-dart throw by the Cowboys and could realistically shake free in the coming weeks.
Quincy Roche, EDGE rusher, Miami
Another dart throw that was surprisingly available in the sixth round of this year’s draft. A tantalizing technician that could be a nice situational pass rusher for Robert Saleh and this defense if he escapes the Steelers roster.