It has been one of the more tumultuous summers in recent New England Patriots history: Rob Gronkowski seems to be in a revolving door of surgical procedures, Wes Welker signed with the Denver Broncos, Brandon Lloyd got released, and the team went through the whole Aaron Hernandez. This is causing the fantasy chicken littles to scream that the sky is falling in New England.
Do you really doubt Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? Really? Stop that right now.
Danny Amendola is clearly going to be the primary receiving option until Gronkowski returns. Rookie Aaron Dobson could be another one of the deep sleeper surprises in 2013. Amendola will be receiving the majority of attention from opposing defenses. Someone else will be open and we know that if someone is open, Brady will get them the ball. Reports out of Boston indicate that Dobson has earned Brady’s trust, which cannot be overstated. Brady has even gone so far as to say that he is “proud” of Dobson.
Someone will step up and claim the WR2 spot in New England, and Dobson still has a solid chance to do so. Dobson gives the Patriots good size, length and is being viewed as more of the big-play threat over Kenbrell Thompkins.
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Dobson will give opposing defensive backs issues with his size and physicality. Dobson has made some impressive plays throughout camp, another sign that the rapport with Brady is there. Dobson also has great hands, evidenced by his 92 targets and zero drops in 2012 while at Marshall. He also runs a 4.37 40-yard dash.
Dobson did, however, lose first team reps to Thompkins during the last preseason game Friday. It will be interesting to see if Dobson gets more than two snaps with the first team against the Detroit Lions this Thursday.
Belichick mentioned that might have more to do with trying to work everyone in and less about Dobson’s performance, but Belichick has also listed every single Patriot as questionable every week for the last five years. Needless to say, take anything he says with a grain of salt.
Still with the lack of other receiving options for at least the beginning of the season, if Dobson can stay ahead of Thompkins, something around 650-plus yards and five touchdowns while playing with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history seems possible. He could very well be worth an 11th or 12th–round flyer.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.