Aaron Dobson is still a downfield weapon

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE:
Aaron Dobson’s first two seasons in the NFL have turned him into an afterthought.

The 2013 second-rounder has so far played in just 16 games and caught 40 passes. The first part of his NFL indoctrination was harsh. Forced into a prominent role in the offense because the Patriots released Brandon Lloyd, cut Aaron Hernandez and had an injured Rob Gronkowski in 2013, Dobson was consistently zigging when Tom Brady wanted him to zag. When Dobson finally started to flourish midway through the season, he suffered a left foot injury.

“Reliability, consistency, durability,” said Josh McDaniels. He left out the biggest one - availability. The New England Patriots drafted Aaron Dobson in the second round for a reason. Aaron possessed that vertical ability to stretch the field. Since 2000, the Patriots have only been able to develop two wide receivers through the draft.

Deion Branch was drafted in the second round in 2002 and David Givens was selected in the seventh round in the same draft. The Patriots were able to develop a 2009 seventh round QB into a topflight NFL weapon in Julian Edelman. Other than that, the selections have produced goose eggs.

There is still hope for Aaron Dobson in 2015 to justify a second round selection just two years ago out of Marshall University. New England has had success in the past with wide receivers from the Thundering Herd in Troy Brown and Randy Moss.

The slate is clean. There is stiff competition for roster spots at the wide receiver position. The offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has tossed out some compliments for Dobson. "Aaron’s certainly a guy who we’re excited about going into training camp and starting this year fresh and going in with a great attitude and see what they can do.”

For Aaron Dobson, the future is now. Potential has a three year window. Dobson needs to change “the book” on himself immediately. If he doesn't, we will reading about him as another wasted second round pick. Does the name Chad Jackson, 2006 second round pick from the University of Florida ring a bell?

Put me in coach. I'm ready to play today.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .

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