The New England Patriots decided to take Marshall Thundering Herd star wide receiver Aaron Dobson with Quinton Patton (he’s still available in the fourth round), Keenan Allen, and Markus Wheaton still on the board, so it sounds like Dobson was high on their list. I mean, for the Pats to take Dobson over Allen, they either have to absolutely hate Allen or absolutely love Dobson. It might be a mix of both, but the Patriots didn’t draft Dobson in the second round if they don’t think he can be the solution at wide receiver.
The Pats currently have Danny Amendola, Donald Jones, Julian Edelman, and Mike Jenkins rostered at the wide receiver position, so receiver was undoubtedly a huge need for the Patriots in this draft. Can Dobson fill it? I certainly think so. Even though I would have taken Allen over Dobson in the Pats position (and probably Wheaton), I have no qualms with Dobson being the pick. Since teams do far more research on prospects than I do and know far more about what they are doing than I do, I always give the team the benefit of the doubt- that’s really the obvious thing to do.
Aaron Dobson didn’t have the best numbers last season for Marshall, but the tools he displayed are almost too good to be true. He has a great frame at 6’3″, 210 pounds, excellent length, is capable of making highlight-reel catches, and he runs a forty in the low 4.4s. Did I also mention the fact that he never dropped a pass on 92 targets? If you haven’t heard that amazing stat yet, then I’m sure you’re going to hear it plenty more in the future.
The Patriots are hoping that Dobson can be the next great Marshall wide receiver to play for the New England Patriots, and he certainly has a chance at being that kind of a guy. Dobson has as good physical tools as any receiver in this draft, and I think he is going to be an impact player for this team. If he can get a hang of things quickly, then Dobson has a shot at being the Patriots number two wide receiver behind Amendola.
Dobson also has great intangibles, as he is very intelligent, has never had any character questions, and he used to play basketball (that affirms his ability to make great plays). Dobson is sure-handed, he has the frame to be the big receiver some Patriots fans really wanted in this draft, and he has the speed to stretch defenses downfield (one of the keys for the Pats). Dobson can do it all, and his intelligence shows that he can put it all together and learn the Pats playbook without much issues early on.
The more I look at Dobson, the more I begin to ignore his mediocre stats at Marshall last season. I’m really starting to warm up to Dobson, and there was no other prospect I was asked more about in the pre-draft process from Patriots fans. It seemed like most Pats fans wanted the guy, and a fan base and its organization often times share the same brain. Even though I was one of several people who had Dobson down with a third-round grade, but I now realize that he fully deserved to come off the board in the second. He has the ability to be the “X” receiver the Patriots covet, and I think he will make a big early impact. Screw the lack of production, because the tools are there with Dobson, and the Patriots seem to agree. The Patriots may not have the best pedigree with drafting wide receivers, but that’s no reason to think Dobson won’t be a good pick- analyze the player and not past draft picks.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.