Aaron Dobson to Patriots: How Does the Wide Receiver Fit with New England

Mike Dussault@PatsPropagandaSenior Analyst IApril 27, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Aaron Dobson #3 of the Marshall Thundering Herd catches a pass against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the game on September 1, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Aaron Dobson was on most New England Patriots draft pundits' radars, and for good reason; he's an excellent fit for a potential X-receiver role that the Pats have been missing ever since they traded Randy Moss. Dobson's size and ability to make tough catches should add a new dimension to the Patriots offense, and he gives Tom Brady his highest-drafted wide receiver since the 2006 bust, Chad Jackson. 

Role

It's hard not to pencil Dobson immediately in as a starter next to Danny Amendola. There's no question that he fits the traditional mold of an X-receiver at 6'3", 210 pounds. The biggest hurdle standing between him and starting is picking up the offense as quickly as possible.

The Patriots require their receivers to read the defense at the line of scrimmage and adjust their routes both pre- and post-snap based on the coverage. Dobson will need to throw himself into the film rooms in Foxboro and attach himself to Tom Brady's hip as much as possible from now on. 

Roster Fit

Wide receiver is the most glaring need on the Patriots' roster and Dobson immediately skyrockets to the top of the depth chart. Yes, he'll compete with the likes of Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins, but there's no question his raw talent should propel him above both veterans.

It's possible Dobson could need some time to develop and learn the offense, in which case Jones or Jenkins could be starting early in the season, but they'll simply be placeholders. 

Early Projections

The Patriots undoubtedly hope Dobson will be the long-term outside receiving threat that Tom Brady can win another Super Bowl with in his final five seasons, but the Patriots' casualties at the receiver position are long and distinguished.

Can Dobson break through? He certainly has the physical traits to complement the pieces already in place, but it will be his head that makes or breaks him.

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