The New England Patriots are already hard at work in training camp and a familiar refrain is once again beginning: “Aaron Dobson looks great”. We’ve been down this road before, one headline during last year’s training camp read “Aaron Dobson Standing Out Among Receivers In Patriots Training Camp” (NESN.com) and the Providence Journal wrote “Aaron Dobson has continued to stand out”. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Every year I look at the depth on the Patriots roster and think, “Which one of these guys in the middle of the pack will step up and have a big year?” For the last few years, the name Aaron Dobson has jumped out at me. He’s 6’3”, 205 lbs and is in his early-mid 20’s with tons of potential. I think, “If he stays healthy, this is his year to break out.”
Dobson has all the makings of a very good NFL caliber WR. His aforementioned size is an asset and he comes from a very solid Marshall football program – where he excelled. He was ranked in the top 20 at his position coming out of college and was considered a great choice for the Patriots at the end of the 2nd round. Mike Mayock wrote on NFL.com, “I like his size at 210 pounds. His production was good but not elite. I’ll tell you what he is: He’s raw, but he’s got upside. He put on a show at his pro day.” He sounds like a great Belichick pick. He has the skill, just need to get him some instruction and mold him into an NFL WR.
Considering the lack of WR depth for the Pats over the past several years, you would think Dobson would have more than enough chances to shine. In 2013, he played in 12 games and caught 37 passes for 519 yards. It seemed as though he was on his way to establishing himself as an important player for this team. Then in 2014 he was a healthy scratch for most of the early season before finally tearing his hamstring during week 13. He played in 4 games and caught 3 balls for 38 yards. Last season wasn’t much better: 13 receptions for 141 yards.
I’m done thinking Aaron Dobson will be a contributor to this team. Potential means nothing if you can’t live up to it.