Why the Josh Dobbs Trade is a Also Good News for Austin Watkins Jr.

The Browns' handling of their quarterback situation is great news for Austin Watkins Jr.

Austin Watkins Jr.'s case for a roster spot is a little more convincing after the Josh Dobbs trade.
Austin Watkins Jr.'s case for a roster spot is a little more convincing after the Josh Dobbs trade. / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Some smart (and humble) people may have predicted it yesterday, but it was still a surprising move to most Browns fans when the team announced they were trading Josh Dobbs and doing a 180 on waiving Kellen Mond. It's now all but official that Dorian Thompson-Robinson is the QB2 and Kellen Mond is the QB3.

That move is obviously a big one, and the impact goes beyond the quarterback position. It's actually even good news for the chances of Austin Watkins Jr. making the roster.

Watkins' practice reps had been concerning, and the unofficial depth chart ahead of the Chiefs game was a head-scratcher, pointing to Watkins still being buried and making him look like a total long-shot to make the roster.

Josh Dobbs Trade

But look at what else is going on there. You don't even need to scan very far to realize maybe the biggest standout: this lists Thompson-Robinson as the QB4.

This depth chart came out shortly before Mond (who was listed ahead of DTR) was waived, and also shortly before the team decided DTR is a strong enough QB2 option to trade Dobbs.

In other words, at best this depth chart is totally meaningless.

Do we like to see Austin Watkins listed behind Jaelon Darden, Jakeem Grant and (shudders) Anthony Schwartz? Obviously not. But unless you're also believing that it was somehow meaningful that DTR was listed as the QB4, this is not the reason to have any concern for Watkins.

This is also an encouraging sign that Cleveland's front office and coaching staff are willing to make bold moves. Many teams would opt to stick with the safe, relatively unexciting veteran in this situation.

Watkins has been one of the entire NFL's biggest preseason breakouts, already racking up 245 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 receptions and making a much bigger case for a roster spot than anyone expected when he was signed.

Watkins will have his final chance to make a push for a roster spot in Saturday afternoon's meeting with the Chiefs, and all eyes will be on him when the Browns have the ball.

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