He’s been a fixture on the college football stage for years. Now, UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson officially turns his eyes to the 2023 NFL Draft, using his scouting report as an accelerant for his rise. 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: 6’1″, 205 pounds
By now, the initials “DTR” are universally known across the college football landscape. It’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the UCLA quarterback — a passer who’s been 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.
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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 might just have what it takes to make it 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
UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson Current Draft Projection
There’s an abundance of quality backup, spot-starter prospects at QB in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Thompson-Robinson is a part of that group. He grades out as a mid-to-late Day 3 pick, but he’s a safe bet to be drafted and hold down a spot in a QB room with his physical tools.
The story of Thompson-Robinson’s collegiate career has been one of stagnation. He showed promise early on, but he lingered at the collegiate level and often failed to sustain functional growth. He took a few steps in the right direction in 2022, but he largely remains the same prospect — one with both exciting strengths and concerning weaknesses.
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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. He’ll get a chance to show all that at the Shrine Bowl.
The flaws for the UCLA QB — below-average mechanics, decision-making, and a lack of situational precision — may prevent him from ever holding onto a starting job long-term. But as a passer who can enter the game on short notice and function as a true dual threat with his legs, Thompson-Robinson is worth a selection in the late rounds.