New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is a hard man to impress. However, there was something about Aaron Dobson that stood out to the fickle Super Bowl champion coach that made him feel the South Charleston native was worthy of a second-round pick.
“He’s big, he’s fast, he’s got good hands. He’s a strong player; smart, very smart. He has some position flexibility and versatility,” assessed Belichick after the Patriots drafted Dobson with the 59th overall pick.
Belichick said New England rated the former Herd wide out and South Charleston High standout as one of the best receivers in the draft when it came to his knowledge of the game and being able to apply it on the field.
“You talk to him about what he did. He can explain the techniques, his assignments, what other guys are doing at Marshall. We’d look at things that we did, then come back and talk about them. He remembered how we did them, how we call them, things like that. He’s a pretty intelligent guy.
“He has good recall of what [Marshall] did. He had a good understanding and grasp of learning, taking new information, processing that and being able to understand it and apply it. Tell him something and then see a play a few plays later and say, ‘What would you do on this play if they did this, they did that’? There’s different ways to measure all that, but he’s a pretty impressive kid. He’s a mature kid. He’s pretty smart.”
Being a smart player is a mandate in the complex offensive system employed by the Patriots and orchestrated by future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady. Brady constantly checks at the line of scrimmage based on the defensive alignment and receivers must be on the same page or they won’t see much of the field.
Dobson’s former Head Coach Doc Holliday is confident Dobson will find success on the field in Foxboro.
“I think, No. 1, Aaron is a very, very talented guy,” Marshall Coach Doc Holliday said of Dobson, whose 24 touchdown receptions are tied for fourth in Herd history with Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown. “He had a great career at Marshall and has a great future in the NFL, and the Patriots, they’re going to be getting a guy who’s a really big-play receiver. He can run, go up for the ball and he has good hands. He has all the skills in the world.”
Dobson expects to make the trip up to Foxboro, Massachusetts by next weekend to learn what he is in for with his new team.
“New England is a great organization with incredible fans. I am so thankful for the opportunity they have given me. I can’t wait to start my NFL career as a Patriot,” said Dobson in a statement from Allegiant Athletic Agency.
With the selection, Dobson became the sixth Herd wide receiver to be selected and the first since Darius Watts was taken 54th overall by the Denver Broncos in 2004. He joined Lee Smith (2011) and Troy Brown (1993) as former Marshall players drafted by the Patriots.