Who is J’Kaylin Dobbins and if your favorite team selects him over the next few days during the Zoomiest of all NFL Drafts what will they be getting? Both good questions that I will try to answer for you, friend.
J.K. Dobbins is leaving Ohio State as the first Buckeye in program history to ever rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. Keep in mind that this is the program that invented the “three yards in a cloud of dust” philosophy; who’s longest-tenured head coach railed against the evils of the forward pass; and before their current head coach, the previous two almost seemed allergic to putting the ball in the air at times. So, it says something that Dobbins was the first Buckeye to break the 2k mark.
Despite leaving behind an entire season of eligibility and sharing carries with Mike Weber for all or parts of his first two years in Columbus, Dobbins ranks second on OSU’s all-time rushing list behind only two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffen, but ahead of greats like Eddie George, Ezekiel Elliott, Keith Byars, “El Guapo” Carlos Hyde, Beanie Wells, a bunch of running quarterbacks who are insanely high on the career rushing yards list, and many, many more.
The production that the La Grange, Texas native put up in three seasons as a Buckeye is a testament to his skill and work ethic. At 5-foot-9, 209 pounds, early in his career, media and fans wanted to pigeon-hole him as the “lightning” in a thunder and lightning duo with Weber.
While Dobbins certainly has the speed to break away from defenses — which he often did — as his career progressed, he proved to be a much more powerful runner than nearly anyone (including opposing defenses) gave him credit for.
In his final collegiate season, Dobbins put up some of his best career games against his best opponents. While some of that had to do with the fact that OSU’s 2019 dominance often meant that he had already cooled down, showered, changed into street clothes, had a snack, and taken a nap by the time the fourth quarter rolled around against some of their lesser foes, it also exemplifies the type of competitor that Dobbins is.
Last fall against Nebraska, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin (again), and Clemson, Dobbins averaged over 175 yards on the ground per contest and rushed for 11 touchdowns in those seven games.
He ranked third nationally in both rushing yards and touchdowns despite nearly never playing in the fourth quarter, and he was tied for the Big Ten lead in both rushing yards and TDs with Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor
Thomas; though Dobbins accumulated his totals in 19 fewer attempts, so I think it’s safe to say that he was actually the B1G’s best runner in 2019.
After being injured for almost the entirety of his high school senior season, Dobbins was a reliable, physical runner at Ohio State. He played in all 42 games in his collegiate career, starting in 40 of them.
In today’s NFL where running backs are seen as interchangeable drill bits, Dobbins is a Swiss Army Knife; he can do it all. He’s got speed, he’s physical, he’s got moves, he’s durable, he can catch out of the backfield, and he comes to play on the biggest stages.
So, to answer your initial questions, J.K. Dobbins is a tailor-made NFL running back, and if your team drafts him over the next few days, you are getting yourself a new starter and likely a new Pro Bowler.
Check out these highlights of J.K. Dobbins’ career: