Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday we looked at No. 18 Matthew Slater, and the day before that it was No. 19 Brandon LaFell. Because today marks 17 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 17, wide receiver Aaron Dobson.
Selected by the Patriots with the 59th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Dobson has appeared in 16 regular season games over his two years in the league, catching 40 passes for 557 yards and four touchdowns.
As a rookie in 2013, the Patriots tried to make Dobson and fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins the focal points of the passing attack. During that year, Dobson recorded the majority of his career stats thus far, gaining 519 yards and all four of his touchdowns on 37 receptions that year.
However, Dobson’s role was significantly decreased as a sophomore. He was active in just four games, and caught just three passes.
Much of the story with Dobson thus far has been injury issues that have prevented him from developing into the outside receiving threat the Patriots drafted him to be. He missed the final month of 2013 with a foot injury, and then injured his hamstring against the Packers in Week 13 and landed on the IR.
Unfortunately, that pesky hamstring is acting up again. After standing out at the beginning of training camp, Dobson has been a regular on the absentee list and was inactive for Saturday night’s game against the Saints.
The more time the Marshall product misses, the more difficult it will be for him to grab the No. 4 spot on the depth chart behind Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola. Chris Harper, Brandon Gibson, Josh Boyce and Jonathan Krause have been hard at work during Dobson’s absence, and at least one of those guys will make the team and challenge Dobson for playing time.
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 21 Malcolm Butler, No. 22 Robert McClain, No. 23 Patrick Chung, No. 24 Bradley Fletcher, No. 25 Daxton Swanson, No. 26 Logan Ryan, No. 27 Tavon Wilson, No. 28 James White, No. 29 LeGarrette Blount, No. 30 Duron Harmon, No. 31 Tarell Brown, No. 32 Devin McCourty, No. 33 Dion Lewis, No. 35 Jonas Gray, No. 36 Tyler Gaffney, No. 37 Jordan Richards, No. 38 Brandon Bolden, No. 39 Travaris Cadet, No. 41 Dekoda Watson and No. 42 Xzavier Dickson.
Be sure to check back on Musket Fire tomorrow morning as we celebrate 16 days until Week 1 by profiling the owner of the No. 16 jersey, wide receiver Jonathan Krause.