Is Aaron Dobson entering a make or break season in New England?
Three years ago, the Patriots selected Aaron Dobson with the 59th pick in NFL Draft. His size, coupled with his catching ability, were supposed to be a great fit as New England was searching for a down the field threat at wide receiver. In his first year, he was relied upon rather early as the team’s wide receiver depth chart was rather thin. The team needed to count on rookies, such as Dobson, to contribute and, as a whole, he had an average rookie season. The numbers may not look too great, at less than 40 catches and only four touchdowns, but as a new player in the team’s system, he produced enough.
After that season, Dobson started to fall on the depth chart. Injuries were a big part of the problem as he only had three catches during the entire regular season. Another factor that contributed to his fall was the team brought in receivers Brandon Lafell and Brain Tyms before last season. Lafell was able to carve a nice role on the team and Tyms was also able to contribute as a deep threat wide receiver, although he did not play a whole lot.
Both players are back this season, which will make things harder for Dobson given that both players were able to contribute in a year that he did not. During training camp and in the preseason, Dobson will most likely be given every chance to climb the depth chart. The Patriots used a high draft pick on Dobson and want to give the player the best opportunity to succeed. This could very well be Dobson’s last chance to prove that he can stay healthy contribute to an offense that should again be very good with mainstays, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, back and ready to go. Dobson has the talent to be a good NFL wide receiver and, if he can finally put it all together, can be a consistent contributor for New England.
The next month is going to be extremely important for Dobson’s future with the Patriots. If he struggles, then he will most likely start the season low on the depth chart, or worse, get cut before the regular season begins. However, if he shows some of the skills that warranted him a second round selection, then he will be given an opportunity to showcase those talents when the season kicks off in September.
Colby Gatz covers the Patriots for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15.