Aaron Dobson & the 2nd-year jump

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
5:00
AM ET
Every team hopes for the often-discussed "second-year" jump for its key young talent, and along those lines, Gil Brandt identifies 10 players across the NFL that he believes will make the biggest leap in 2014.

Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson is one of them.

"The former second-round pick has the quickness to beat press coverage and an ability to make some spectacular catches, despite having relatively small hands," Brandt writes on NFL.com. "He can make adjustments on the ball and is a good blocker for a receiver. He's got some special stuff about him."

Health is obviously part of the discussion with Dobson, as his offseason work has been altered after undergoing surgery for a stress fracture in his foot.

Dobson had 37 catches for 519 yards and four touchdowns last season, and Brandt predicts he'll more than double his receptions in 2014, while also eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark.

The Patriots would naturally be thrilled if the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Dobson hit those marks, emerging as a top outside threat on a consistent basis. If it happens, it would mark the first time since 2003 that the Patriots had a rookie receiver who played the majority of the team's games improve on his work as a rookie.

 

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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