He’s been a fixture on the college football stage for years. Now, after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft and using his scouting report as an accelerant for his rise, UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson can turn his focus to the NFL. With his traits, where does he project at the next level, and could he eventually become a starter?
Dorian Thompson-Robinson NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Quarterback
- School: UCLA
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’2″, 203 pounds
- Length: 30 5/8″
- Hand: 9 7/8″
By now, the initials “DTR” are universally known across the college football and NFL landscapes. It’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the UCLA quarterback — a passer who was a staple of one of the league’s more prominent Power Five programs for five seasons.
It helped that Thompson-Robinson was a fairly established figure right out of high school. He was a star QB at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, earning a high four-star billing as a recruit and a spot on the Under Armour All-American roster.
Thompson-Robinson fielded interest from titans like Alabama, but the allure of Chip Kelly at UCLA drew Thompson-Robinson to the Bruins. He was the gem of Kelly’s inaugural class at UCLA. And fittingly, he went on to help fuel UCLA’s resurrection as a program.
In his five-year span as Bruins QB, Thompson-Robinson completed 844 of 1,335 passes for 10,424 yards, 86 touchdowns, and 33 interceptions while also adding 1,812 yards and 27 touchdowns on the ground.
It’ll be strange seeing someone other than DTR at quarterback for UCLA in 2023. But we haven’t seen the last of Thompson-Robinson. He was drafted in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, and he has a future in the NFL.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson Scouting Report
- Explosive, high-energy athlete with elite creation capacity
- Above-average arm strength and velocity in the short and intermediate ranges
- Has the arm elasticity to adjust throwing angles and generate velocity off-platform
- Able to progress through reads quickly and work back infield
- Flashes good pressure detection, navigation, and escapability in the pocket
- Has a degree of natural accuracy; can lead receivers in stride with velocity
- Provides glimpses of quality anticipation over the middle of the field
- Steely competitor with great toughness
Areas for Improvement
- Arm strength isn’t elite, limiting velocity generation downfield
- Decision-making is very inconsistent, inviting turnover risk
- Footwork can be staggered, uncontrolled, and frantic at times
- Sometimes lacks the field vision to anticipate breaks and ID defenders
- Concave, overhead release sometimes detracts from rotation
- Occasionally lacks situational precision on contested throws
- Can rely on creation capacity to a fault and invite chaos
- Has a lighter, leaner frame
Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s 2023 NFL Outlook
Thompson-Robinson was an intriguing NFL Draft prospect who landed in an intriguing situation with the Browns. There isn’t an immediate path to regular-season reps for Thompson-Robinson, as the Browns gave up a large sum of assets to acquire their current starting QB, Deshaun Watson.
Nevertheless, Thompson-Robinson profiles as an excellent insurance plan and long-term backup for the Browns. His early preseason opportunities have already shown that he’s capable of operating an offense efficiently with his experience and natural accuracy.
And beyond that, he has the high-level athleticism, above-average arm talent, and competitive toughness to even elevate his offense in spurts.
Consistency was always the biggest struggle for Thompson-Robinson at the collegiate level, but if he can more routinely operate with quick eyes, composure, and discretion, he can be a quality backup and even provide quality play as a spot-starter with his natural tools.
It’s too early to say if there is a path to starting reps for Thompson-Robinson in Cleveland, but Watson’s shaky play in 2022 does leave the door open. Watson will still have a long leash in 2023 by virtue of the assets it took to get him. But the Browns can take solace in the fact that Thompson-Robinson gives them a competent and capable No. 2 QB.
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