WR Aaron Dobson, Free agent
HT: 6-3, WT: 210, Born: 6-13-1991, College: Marshall, Drafted: Round 2
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: D McCluster (185), M Austin (186), Aaron Dobson (187),
Position: A Hawkins (180-WR63), M Austin (186-WR64), Aaron Dobson (187 - WR65), K Thompkins (198-WR66), O Beckham (204-WR67)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: T Eifert (177), Aaron Dobson (178), M Jones (179),
Position: J Jones (171-WR60), D Baldwin (175-WR61), Aaron Dobson (178 - WR62), M Jones (179-WR63), A Hawkins (184-WR64)
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Back in April, Gil Brandt of NFL.com commented that he felt second-year receiver Aaron Dobson had "some special stuff about him," citing his ability to beat the press and ability to make fantastic catches as some of the reasons. We have to agree that his upside is tremendous. Dobson led all New England's rookie receivers in receiving yards despite getting slowed down by a foot injury which required offseason surgery. The team is going to use more three-wide sets, but we expect Dobson to still get a lot of targets out of the "X" position, where it is expected he will end up. Because the team is going to spread things out, though, we have to limit our expectations. Keep him in mind as late round pick with upside and know that you may have some issues guessing how many targets he will get, though we may get more clarity in training camp.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 2 - also scored one of the easiest touchdowns youíll see on a play action fake where no defensive back followed him as he leaked out from a tight formation. The bad news: itís rare to see an NFL player with the amount of drops that Dobson had. Dobson had three or four easily catchable drops, including a 2nd and 14 and 3rd and 14 on back to back plays that would have converted first downs. Dobson also dropped a pass from deep within the Patriots territory that would have converted a first down, and a very easy crossing route that saw him fairly wide open. Unfortunately on this day, his promising start was marred by a series of big errors for the rest of the game.
Week 3 - Dobson was the most-targeted New England receiver this week and it looked to be a point of emphasis for Tom Brady to work on chemistry with his rookie receivers. Dobson gained early separation on slants and crossing routes on multiple occasions and bobbled a catchable pass just once. Down the field Dobson was targeted in tight coverage, but could not make the highlight reel play. Defensive pass interference was called on the play. On two of Dobsonís targets Brady missed him. One on a slant in the end zone as Dobson shook free on a good double-move and another on a slant route. The potential was there for this to be Dobsonís breakout game of over 100 yards and at least two touchdowns.
Week 4 - Aaron Dobson had a dud of a day. He had a drop, then had his head snapped backwards at an awkward angle by a defender and didn't play again for the rest of the game. The injury happened in the third quarter, but to that point, Dobson had taken a clear backseat to Kenbrell Thompkins and Julian Edelman in the passing pecking order.
Week 5 - Dobsonís highlight of the day was a spectacular catch and run afterwards that went for 53 yards. Dobson ran a long out route, caught the ball, broke two tackles, and streaked down the sideline for at least 20 extra yards due to his balance and quicks. He did fumble the ball at the end of the play, but luckily it bounced right back to him. Dobson could have had a long touchdown on a hot route as he was wide open, but there was a miscommunication as he ran broke towards the middle of the field and Brady threw as if he would break off on a corner route.
Week 6 - Surprisingly, Aaron Dobson operated as the number one wide receiver for much of the game, playing more snaps than anyone not named Tom Brady. He was targeted ten times, and had some of his usual ugly along with some solid play. The bad entailed an ugly drop to start the game that would have gone for a first down. The even worse was a terrible drop on 4th down late in the game that caused the Patriots to turn the ball over on downs in their own territory. The good included some catches where he made defenders miss tackles. Overall, there was more good than bad for Dobson, as the name ĎDropsoní seems to be catching on appropriately. This is hopefully correctable, however, as Dobson didnít drop a single pass his senior year of college.
Week 7 - With the return of Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Dobson was fairly invisible on the day. The biggest play of note was a bad throw on a Tom Brady deep ball that could have resulted in a touchdown. Other than that, there were no drops of note or bad plays for Dobson, which was a good sign, although he did have a questionable comeback-type route early in the game that looked pretty ugly.
Week 8 - Aaron Dobson led the Patriots in both receiving yards and touchdown catches on the day. He did have one drop, but otherwise, played a decent game by his standards. He completely owned Dimitri Patterson on a nice chunk curl route for a gain of roughly 26 yards. He also showed the ability to catch a zipped pass by Brady, something heís struggled with to this point. Dobsonís touchdown was a very solid sluggo route with a solid back foot throw by Brady. Dobsonís routes are becoming a little crisper, which should hopefully help his timing with Brady in the future.
Week 9 - Congratulations on your coming out party Aaron Dobson. With an absolute studly line and a near-flawless performance, this was Dobson's best game of the season. He ran crisp routes, beat defensive backs, displayed timing and rapport with Tom Brady, and generally looked the part of the outside threat the Patriots have needed for several years now. One of the more promising moments of the game was actually a Dobson drop. It was a back shoulder throw and seemed a little mis-timed. However, later in the game, the Patriots ran nearly the same play on the opposite side of the field, only this time it resulted in a great touchdown. It showed that Dobson learned from what went wrong just minutes prior, a promising sign for the Patriots. Dobson's second touchdown was simply scooting by two defensive backs, sticking his hand in the air as he ran, and displaying his speed en route to an 81 yard score. Dobson also had a great comeback route on a 3rd down in which he broke a tackle for an extra 12 yards in order to secure a first down. All in all, a great performance, especially considering Ike Taylor was covering him for much of the game.
Week 11 - Dobson didnít have any big plays on the day, though he would have likely had a touchdown if not for a defensive hold. He and Tom Brady did have a huge miscommunication that almost resulted in an interception. Other than that, his route running is improving on a week to week basis, as are his hands. Most of his catches were on out or curl type routes.
Week 12 - With exactly zero targets and barely any second half playing time, Aaron Dobson went from hero to zero in the span of a week. Itís unclear whether injury or game situation caused his decrease in snaps, but the X receiver spot in New England is tenuous at best on a week to week basis.
Week 16 - Though he returned, Aaron Dobson didnít do much on the day. The most notable play of his was what one could consider a drop on a deep ball, though he was covered fairly well. Other than that, game flow dictated either passes to Julian Edelman or a bunch of running the football, and the Patriots did just that.
Week 17 - Aaron Dobson saw three targets, but his day was cut short as he limped off the field after a deep ball thrown his way. Dobson was well covered on the play, and pulled up slightly lame and didnít return for the rest of the day.
Week 20 - Aaron Dobson was spotted limping a bit in pregame warmups, and it showed against Denver, as he wasn't able to play the full game as his foot appeared to be bothering him again. He wasn't involved in many notable plays on the day, grabbing 2 balls for 33 yards. He did have a solid in cut on one of the grabs, and has displayed better route running as the season has gone on. His challenge for 2014 will be staying healthy for a whole season.