Ever since New England cut ties with Randy Moss back in 2010, the Patriots have been in search for a big bodied deep threat wide receiver.
They tried to find one in a few guys: Taylor Price in the 2010 draft, Chad Johnson (or Ochocinco) via free agency in 2011, and Brandon Lloyd in free agency back in 2012. Although all of these receivers didn’t have the same 6’4” height of Moss, none of these players turned out as expected, and as a result, the Patriots are still looking for the second coming of Moss.
And as of now, the Patriots currently have two big bodied wide receivers who will be competing for the starting X receiver. Those two men are Brandon Lafell and Aaron Dobson.
These two men come from different schools, but other wise are close physically. Dobson 6’3”, Lafell 6’2”, Dobson 200 lbs, Lafell 211 lbs. They are close in speed as well as Lafell ran a 4.4 second 40 yard dash while Lafell trailed with 4.5 seconds. These two receivers both have the opportunity two have huge impact on this Patriots team that is in need of a player of their talents.
Cases can be made for both Lafell and Dobson, so let’s examine the numbers, more specifically the rookie seasons of these two. In Brandon Lafell’s rookie year in Carolina, he had a 468 yards. 468 yards, when the Panthers were 32nd in the NFL for passing YPG, and had the likes of Jake Delhomme and Jimmy Clausen throwing him the ball for the majority of the season. And since then, Lafell has improved receiving yards each year since his first year, despite being on an a team that was a run first offense with Cam Newton and co. In Dobson’s rookie year he had 519 yards, but also struggled with holding onto the ball, as he was 2nd in drops among rookies (1st was Tavon Austin, STL). Because of these drops, Dobson had more than one reception in only 8 games.
Ultimately, both of theses players could be the guy to give New England another dominant receiver along side Julian Edelman. Dobson looks to be the long time answer to the Patriots needs; however Lafell looks primed to steal the starting job from a younger in-experienced wide receiver. Definitely one of the position battles to watch for in 2014.
Follow me on Twitter to talk Patriots all day long: @gavroydavis