Eagles Meet with ‘Human Highlight Reel’ QB at NFL Combine

Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Getty UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson is human highlight reel who could serve as the perfect backup to Jalen Hurts in Philly.

The Philadelphia Eagles are in the market for a backup quarterback, perhaps an electrifying prospect with dual-threat capabilities as a thrower and runner. Jalen Hurts is the unquestioned starter — contract negotiations appear to be underway — but the franchise has always attached extreme value to the guy holding the clipboard.

Look no further than Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder threw for 10,710 yards and rushed for 1,826 yards as a five-year starter at UCLA. He totaled 116 touchdowns (88 passing, 28 rushing) in 48 games while setting a school-record 69.6% completion percentage in 2022.

He ran Chip Kelly’s RPO system to perfection: the Bruins averaged 503.5 yards of total offense, including 238.2 rushing yards per game, which was fourth-best in the country. He also set new standards for TD passes (88), quarterback rushing yards (1,826), passing yards (10,710), completions (860), and total offense (12,536).

His physical tools and intangibles have scouts drooling at the NFL Scouting Combine this week in Indianapolis. If you don’t trust the talent evaluators and scouting reports, then just watch his tape. Thompson-Robinson is a human highlight reel.

The Eagles met with Thompson-Robinson earlier this week at the Combine and all indications have him high on their radar. Details are scant on what the two sides discussed, but sources told Mike Greger that the “meeting went very well and he’s been impressing teams all week.” He also had a “really good meeting” with the San Francisco 49ers at the Shrine Bowl.

The explosive quarterback from Las Vegas wowed reporters during media availability, too. Here is what Thompson-Robinson said about his biggest strength: “I think just my competitive edge, you know you won’t find a guy out there that can compete harder than me, especially from my own team in throwing blocks and making sure I do everything I can to try and win the game, and I think that’s what really sets me apart.”

Thompson-Robinson Went Back to UCLA to ‘Adult’

In 2021, Thompson-Robinson guided a UCLA offense that ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12 in passing efficiency, passing yards per attempt, total offense, and total offensive touchdowns. He was one of only three players in the conference to register at least 3,000 yards of total offense by himself. And DTR left the school as the only UCLA player to ever record over 12,000 yards of total offense.

So, yes, he could have entered the 2022 NFL draft and likely been a Day 3 pick. However, DTR wanted to return to Westwood and learn about the business of football. He used the extra year to mature and prepare while signing a NIL deal with Activision.

“I think really one of the main reasons why I came back to college was being able to learn how to be an adult before being one,” Thompson-Robinson told reporters, via Joe Castro. “You know when you’re a rookie you gotta learn how to pay bills, taxes, all the stuff on your own, so I was just learning how to do that during my senior year of college and so that was kind of one of the reasons why I wanted to come back, just being able to learn that now and not having to worry about that while trying to make a team and winning a job. So, I think now I’ve learned a bunch through that being able to be an adult before I get to be one.”

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To refresh: Gardner Minshew is a free agent and the only other quarterback rostered is Ian Book. The latter came over from the New Orleans Saints in 2022 and never saw action. Book has gone 12-of-20 for 135 yards in one career start.

Scouting Report: Athleticism Remains Greatest Strength

The scouting reports on Thompson-Robinson are pretty consistent across the board: slightly undersized quarterback with supreme athleticism; great velocity, high character, big arm, very skilled runner. The only concerns are in regard to his accuracy and decision-making. (For the record, Hurts had the same perceived weaknesses coming out of college).

Here is what Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network wrote:

Thompson-Robinson’s greatest strength — his athleticism — is one that will undoubtedly keep him in the league. In the modern NFL, elite creation capacity is increasingly more valuable in backup QBs, and Thompson-Robinson has that. On top of that, he also brings above-average arm talent, great competitive toughness, and a functional floor as a processor that’s come with his experience.

Thompson-Robinson is projected to go on Day 3, maybe in Round 5 or Round 6. The Eagles don’t own a pick in either round so they would have to wait until Round 7 and hope he’s still around unless they trade down. Remember, they have a Round 3 pick (No. 94 overall) that they could move to acquire extra draft capital. Decisions, decisions, decisions. On paper, DTR looks perfect for Philadelphia.

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