NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The Patriots have a bit of history with Marshall wide receivers. Troy Brown and Randy Moss certainly have left their mark here in New England.
I had the pleasure of speaking with former Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson today, a 2013 NFL Draft prospect that is ready to re-introduce himself to NFL fans.
You probably know who Aaron Dobson is, even if you don’t realize it. He made “the catch”, where he simply backhanded a ball in the end zone as if he were wearing a glove and playing second base for the Sox. Haven’t seen it? Watch it first. I’ll wait.
I asked Dobson about the catch. “I just went up and got it.”
That you did Aaron. You can see Dobson fight for the ball like that on post routes and deep shots throughout his career for the Thundering Herd.
Dobson told me that me has modeled himself after the likes of Jerry Rice and Larry Fitzgerald – watching him snag the ball out of the air in that highlight surely had me thinking about Fitzgerald’s ridiculous hands.
Like Fitzgerald, Dobson wants to be an “X” receiver in the NFL, playing on the line. He’ll have to be adept at getting off the press, which he has shown he can do at the college level. The NFL could be a different story.
“I like to mix it up. They’ll watch tape of you in the league so you can’t just do one thing.” Dobson can use his 6’3″ / 200+ pound frame to get physical with corners or use his lateral explosiveness to get around them.
One cornerback that he had to get physical with this off-season was Washington CB Desmond Trufant, who Dobson singled out as one of the toughest cornerbacks he’s had to play against in his career, also putting former Virginia Tech CB Jayron Hosley in the same league.
In order for Dobson to be a top receiver in the NFL, he is going to have to show NFL teams that he can run. He “definitely” can run in the 4.4′s at the NFL Combine and is excited to show people just how fast he is. We had Dobson pegged as a 4.5 guy, so if he does run in the 4.4′s, he could certainly move up a bit on some draft boards.
Dobson has said that he has heard that he is a “mid or late second round pick”, but he would like to be the first Marshall player to be drafted in the first round since Byron Leftwich.
The Patriots certainly have a need at the receiver position, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dobson get some looks in the 25th-50th pick range.
Further Reading: Aaron Dobson Scouting Report