The long-awaited return of football came with a bang in the Hall of Fame Game between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns. Among the rookies on display, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the fifth-round quarterback for the Browns, stole the spotlight with a spectacular debut in Cleveland’s 21-16 victory in Canton.
Replacing Kellen Mond in the second half, Thompson-Robinson showcased his potential by leading two impressive scoring drives, spearheading the Browns’ comeback win. While star quarterback Deshaun Watson and Joshua Dobbs watched from the sidelines, the rookie displayed remarkable composure, accuracy, and excitement, making a strong case to be the Browns’ third QB.
Thompson-Robinson’s performance was reminiscent of his college days at UCLA, where he made impressive improvisational plays. One such play included a masterful escape that demonstrated his skills:
“DTR”, as he is commonly known in scouting circles, showcased his abilities throughout the game. He delivered a touchdown pass with precision, connecting with receiver Austin Watkins seamlessly. The rookie completed 8-of-11 passes for 82 yards and one touchdown while also rushing for an additional 30 yards. Thompson-Robinson even assisted in a rushing touchdown by Demetric Felton with a critical block.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski praised Thompson-Robinson, saying, “He made some nice plays, both with his feet. I felt the route on the touchdown was outstanding. Good read, good throw, had some really good moments.”
Thompson-Robinson’s poised pocket presence, mobility, accuracy, and arm strength were on full display. He finished the game with a remarkable 124.1 passer rating, making a strong statement as a late-round rookie quarterback.
After the game, Thompson-Robinson expressed his excitement about the opportunity and his determination to be an asset to the team. He credited his hard work and the effort put in by his fellow draftees for reaching this point.
The rookie took charge in the third quarter, leading an 11-play, 88-yard touchdown drive that showcased his versatility as a quarterback. The drive culminated in a 16-yard touchdown run by Demetric Felton, with Thompson-Robinson providing a crucial block.
Thompson-Robinson also demonstrated his ability to recognize patterns and learn from plays run by his predecessors. His 22-yard touchdown pass to Austin Watkins Jr. was a testament to his keen observation and quick thinking.
While it was a preseason game with few regular starters, Thompson-Robinson’s performance was commendable. Despite playing against players who may not make the Jets’ roster, he displayed confidence and control on the field.
Having started 48 games at UCLA, Thompson-Robinson appeared calm and composed, making quick decisions and displaying a deep understanding of the game. Although there are areas he needs to work on, his debut was a strong foundation for a promising career.
It’s evident that Thompson-Robinson has the talent to earn a spot on the Browns’ roster. While he may not be unseating Deshaun Watson anytime soon, his performance in the remaining preseason games will be crucial in solidifying his place in the team.
The rookie is excited about his future prospects, hoping for more opportunities to prove himself in the upcoming games. With his impressive debut in the Hall of Fame Game, Thompson-Robinson has already started making a name for himself in the NFL.