New England drafts Dobson
HUNTINGTON - Another Marshall wide receiver, another New England Patriot in the National Football League.
On Friday evening, Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson was selected in the 2nd round of the NFL draft by the New England Patriots with the 59th overall pick.
"This is the dream that I have worked my entire life to achieve," Dobson said through a release from his representation, a3 (Allegiant Athletic Agency). "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."
Dobson joins former Marshall receiver Troy Brown, who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1993, and Lee Smith, who was drafted by New England in 2011.
Former Marshall wide receiver Randy Moss also played for the Patriots and set the single-season receiving touchdown mark in the NFL with 23 in 2007.
Dobson becomes the second Marshall player in two years to be selected in the 2nd round, joining defensive end Vinny Curry who was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 59th pick overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Marshall coach Doc Holliday said the Patriots are getting a very talented guy to add to their receiving corps.
"He had a great career at Marshall and has a great future in the NFL," Holliday said. "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, a Dunbar, W.Va., native, finished his Marshall career with 24 touchdowns, which is tied for fourth all-time with Brown in the Marshall record books.
His senior season was hindered by a nagging leg injury that kept him out of two games late in the season, but he still finished the season with 57 catches - a career-high for him during his time at Marshall.
While Dobson shined on the field, it was his efforts during the practice week of the Senior Bowl that really turned the heads of many scouts and separated him in the upper echelon of receivers in the 2013 NFL Draft.
During that practice week, his hands and even his blocking ability on the outside drew praise from experts who were checking out the draft class.
Dobson was invited to the NFL Combine, but he was unable to perform due to an injury. However, he came back in frigid temperatures at Marshall's Pro Day and excelled in drills in front of 22 different NFL teams.
His precision cuts and his footwork shined on the day and had scouts buzzing afterward. He also posted two 40-yard dash times of 4.42 and 4.40 inside the Cam Henderson Center.
The ability to perform well in the elements likely stuck with the Patriots, who are known for the cold-weather games in November and December.
In New England, Dobson will catch passes from Tom Brady, one of the great quarterbacks in NFL history.
Dobson finished his college career with 2,398 receiving yards, which is ninth all-time in Marshall history.
He burst onto the scene late during his junior year after making one of the most spectacular catches in college football history, fittingly labeled "The Catch" by sports media outlets.
Against East Carolina, Dobson went up for a fade pattern and caught a one-handed, backhand reception with an ECU cornerback draped all over him. 'The Catch' instantly went viral and Dobson's catch was ranked No. 2 in ESPN's Top Plays of 2011.
It was one of several highlights on the playing field for a player who has been executing at a high level for a long time.
Prior to his days at Marshall, Dobson set the state on fire as a wide receiver for South Charleston.
As a senior, he finished with 45 catches for 1,298 yards and 17 touchdowns while leading South Charleston to a 14-0 record and a Class AAA state championship.
He also represented Team USA in the 2009 IFAF Under-19 World Championships in Canton, Ohio, prior to his freshman season with the Herd.
Dobson, who was the first Marshall receiver to be drafted since Darius Watts in 2004, is the Herd's 38th NFL Draft pick since the draft started in 1936.
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