Losing Josh Boyce to injured reserve was certainly a blow to the New England Patriots, but he was not the biggest loss of the three rookie wide receivers. The status of Aaron Dobson (foot) is the most important as he is the best in the group, and he gives the Patriots something that his fellow rookie receivers do not.
Dobson’s stats for the regular season certainly look mediocre (37 receptions, 519 yards, four touchdowns), but those are not telling of how really performed. He only played in 12 games this season, and was essentially benched for a handful of those games. If Dobson had played a full compliment of games and had been a full-time starter, he would probably have put up something more acceptable for a no. 2 wide receiver.
Not only that, but Dobson passes the eye test as well. The rookie wide receiver had been open a lot more than his stats have indicated, only to be missed by Tom Brady. Some of that fell on Dobson as he is a rookie that was unable to get on the same page as his veteran quarterback, but there were times that Brady missed Dobson deep, which certainly falls on Brady.
There is one thing that Dobson has that no coach can teach, and that is size. His 6-foot-3 frame is one of the reasons why Bill Belichick drafted Dobson in the second round. Belichick knew that he had to go out and get a big wide receiver who could get down the field (a la Randy Moss). The best way to score touchdowns is to have big pass catchers, and that is what Dobson can do.
So Dobson will be needed if the Patriots are to take out the Indianapolis Colts. His size will be huge in the red zone, and his deceiving speed can be an asset if Brady is looking to make the big play.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.