Patriots bring their entire 2013 draft class under contract

6/21/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsThe New England Patriots no longer have to worry about getting all of their 2013 draft picks under contract prior to the start of training camp in late July. The Patriots announced on Thursday that they have signed rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson to his four-year contract. Dobson was the last member of the Patriots’ seven-man 2013 draft class to sign with the team this offseason. That should give the Patriots a brief moment of escape from headlines surrounding tight end Aaron Hernandez and his involvement in an ongoing murder investigation.
Details of Dobson’s contract were not disclosed by the team. But under the salary slotting system, the deal is expected to value $3.43 million, including a $873,360 signing bonus.
Dobson was taken with the Patriots’ second of two picks in the second-round (59th overall) of the draft. The Patriots selected their top pick Southern Mississippi outside linebacker Jamie Collins seven spots ahead of Dobson.
The 6-foot-3, 203-pound Dobson was a three-year starter at Marshall and finished his collegiate career with 165 receptions for 2,398 yard. Dobson’s 24 career touchdowns tied with former Patriots standout Troy Brown for fourth in school history. Last season, Dobson caught 57 passes for 679 yards and three touchdowns for the Thundering Herd.
Early indications from the offseason workouts suggest that Dobson had his fair share of struggles picking up the offense, which is to be expected from a rookie in the Patriots complex system. But during other offseason workouts, Dobson showcased his unique ability to make catches above receivers.
The Patriots are in a desperate need for a young receiver to step up. After Danny Amendola, there is a steep drop-off in performances at the position. The 22-year-old Dobson has displayed more raw talent than any other candidate at the receiver position. So Dobson expected to make an immediate impact in the Patriots’ restructured receiver corps this season.
It should help that Dobson and the rest of the Patriots’ rookie class is expected to continue working out with the team’s strength and conditioning staff ahead of training camp on July 25.
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