The Patriots have made it known that they are looking to deal wide receiver Aaron Dobson after 3 season with the team. Anyone who follows the team knows that Dobson has been severely underwhelming in his time with the team, and many question why he is still here.
Dobson has been plagued with the injury bug, and in 3 season with the team has only racked up 648 yards on 53 receptions. Dobson has played in 24 games, but only started in 13 of those; not great for a second round pick. Being selected 59th overall is probably the sole reason that number 17 is still catching passes in New England. With such a high pick, and low success rate at drafting wide receivers, it's clear that Belichick is reluctant to give up on Dobson.
Dobson had his worst season in 2014, starting in just 1 game and catching only 3 passes the entire season. However, Belichick decided that Dobson deserved another shot and kept him for the 2015 season. So with a slight improvement in the 2015 season, followed by a decent camp, why are the Patriots supposedly giving up on Dobson now?
Knowing Belichick, this is a ploy to get Dobson to work harder, but for agument's sake, let's just pretend they're serious. With Amendola likely starting on the PUP list, and Edelman's fragility, the Patriots have a shortage of receivers for the moment. Knowing this, it would most likely be a mistake to get rid of Dobson, unless they have a guy ready to take his place. That guy is Malcolm Mitchell.
As I said before, the Patriots are not known to draft well at the wide receiver position, but clearly they think they've found their guy. Mitchell was drafted in the 4th round, at the 112th overall pick, and the Patriots seem to think they have something. Mitchell has a very small sample size, but he seems to be a roster lock moving, even with the injury. He's made enough of an impression that the team is ready to move on from Dobson, and move forward with him.
Mitchell caught 4 passes for 55 yards (13.8 average, 24 long) in the first week of the preseason against the Saints. Even as a rookie with only a few receptions, Mitchell turned some heads and had people talking about his performance. Unfortunately, Mitchell suffered an arm injury that will keep him sidelined for a few weeks. Even with the injury, the Patriots are still looking to move Dobson, showing the confidence that they have in him returning and being productive. We may be seeing the end of the Aaron Dobson era, and the beginning of the Malcolm Mitchell era.
By Matt Watts