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Dobson graduates to pros with Belichick and Brady

Apr. 28, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Of the four wide receivers the New England Patriots drafted in the past seven years, only 2012 seventh-rounder Jeremy Ebert remains. Their complex offense is difficult to master. Chad Johnson, then known as Chad Ochocinco, struggled with it in 2011 when he made 15 catches in his only season with the team.

Aaron Dobson is optimistic he'll be able to handle it.

"I think I'm ready," said Dobson, a Marshall University receiver who was taken Friday night by New England in the second round (59th player overall). "It's definitely something that I've been getting prepared for, just going through this whole process, just people telling me about the pressure of going into the league. So I'm just trying to go in, be level-headed and go in focused."

The Patriots added veterans Danny Amendola, Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins at wide receiver. And now Dobson gives quarterback Tom Brady a fourth new receiver.

For Dobson, who attended the same school as former Patriots receivers Randy Moss and Troy Brown, playing with one of the NFL's best quarterbacks is "not intimidating at all. I'm excited just to get to know him and start catching balls from him."

Dobson caught 12 of his 24 collegiate touchdown passes as a junior. His receptions increased in each of his four seasons from 15 to 44 to 49 to 57.

As a senior, he didn't drop any of the 92 passes thrown his way.

"Look," Belichick said, "every receiver's dropped the ball. Every quarterback's thrown an interception. Every defensive player's missed a tackle. Every guy who's ever carried the ball has fumbled at some point. So I don't want to get carried away on that. I'd say he has good hands."

Dobson figures he's just doing his job.

"Being a receiver, that's what we do," he said. "We definitely take pride in that."

The 2012 All-Conference USA second team selection by the coaches was seventh in the league in catches per game (5.7) and receiving yards (67.9). The Dunbar, W.Va., resident's 24 touchdown receptions tied Brown for fourth in the school's all-time records.

A captain on last year's Thundering Herd team, the Biletnikoff Award Watch List wideout missed virtually all of two games because of injury.

For his career, he finished ninth in the school's all-time record book with 2,398 receiving yards.

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