VDT: UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson Should Be on Vikings Fans’ Radars
The Minnesota Vikings seem like they will inevitably begin their search to find a QB of the future during this month’s draft. The quarterbacks in this class look far more promising than the group from last year’s class, and with Cousins not getting a new contract, it would make sense for the Vikings to have at least a couple of these prospects on their radar.
That brings us to UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who is the focus of today’s edition of Vikings Draft Thermometer series, PurplePTSD‘s one-stop shop for all your 2023 NFL Draft needs. Throughout this series, we have examined a number of prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, what exactly their role could be at the NFL level, and most importantly, whether or not they could end up playing their first NFL snaps in a Vikings uniform.
- Height: 6′ 2″
- Weight: 203 pounds
- Arm Length: 30 5/8″
- Hand Size: 9 7/8″
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.56 seconds
- 10-Yard Split: 1.51 seconds
- Vertical Jump: 32.5″
- Broad Jump: 10′ 1″
- 3-Cone: 7.28 seconds
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.44 seconds
- School: UCLA
- Games Watched: Arizona State (2022), Washington (2022), Utah (2022), USC (2022), Pittsburgh (2022)
- 2018: 112/194 (57.7%), 1311 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs; 50 carries, 68 rushing yards (9 games)
- 2019: 216/362 (59.7%), 2701 yards, 21 TDs, 12 INTs; 118 carries, 198 yards, 4 TDs (11 games)
- 2020: 90/138 (65.2%), 1120 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs; 55 carries, 306 yards, 3 TDs (5 games)
- 2021: 176/283 (62.2%), 2409 yards, 21 TDs, 6 INTs; 130 carries, 609 yards, 9 TDs (11 games)
- 2022: 266/382 (69.6%), 3169 yards, 27 TDs, 10 INTs; 118 carries, 645 yards, 12 TDs (13 games)
When you first look at Dorian Thompson-Robinson and his skillset, his mobility will inevitably be the most notable part of his game. He has great wheels, and when he gets out of the pocket and into open space, his acceleration makes it hard for anybody to track him down.
However, his arm is nothing to scoff at, either. After struggling with accuracy throughout his early collegiate career, DTR completed 69.6% of his passes during the 2022 season and showcased much more confidence and poise as a passer than he had in past years. The scheme at UCLA under Chip Kelly has certainly made things easier on the QB, but he has proven capable of reading through progressions.
These improvements as a passer are exciting for his jump into the NFL as well. If he continues on this positive trajectory and continues to be a threat with his legs, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him to develop into a starter at some point.
It is far less of a concern now than it would have been in years past, but Thompson-Robinson is still a bit undersized as a QB, especially at 203 pounds. He could bear to pack on a bit more muscle to try and build out his frame more and hopefully avoid injuries.
Additionally, while DTR has shown growth as a passer, he still needs to cut down on turnover-worthy throws. All the positives with his game can be overridden with one bad throw caused by losing track of defenders. He threw 10 interceptions in 2022 and 36 total over the course of 49 games in his collegiate career.
Some of these poor throws come from decision-making, but it would be beneficial for him to speed up his throwing motion as well. There is a bit too much of a windup with his delivery, and it allows defenders to more easily anticipate where throws are going. He doesn’t necessarily have the greatest arm strength either, so he needs throws to be picture-perfect in the intermediate and deep ranges.
- Draft Round: Late Fourth-Mid Fifth
- Immediate Role: QB3 on the practice squad
- Best-Case Scenario: Rich Gannon
- Vikings Draft Temperature: 45
It seems notable that the Vikings decided to meet with Thompson-Robinson at the NFL scouting combine last month, but does that necessarily mean that they are interested in him? Perhaps not, but he should be available around their picks in Day 3, and he has displayed an outstanding work ethic and all kinds of upside that should be intriguing at the NFL level.
It will almost certainly take multiple years of development to get him up to speed in order to run an offense, hence a Rich Gannon-esque best-case scenario for his career, but if Kirk Cousins keeps his usual production going in 2023, the Vikings can afford to spend an extra year developing him.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.