It’s been well documented that New England Patriots rookie receiver Aaron Dobson has struggled catching the football, and knowing where to be when trying to catch the football through eight games this season. ProFootballFocus.com recently highlighted their drop rate statistic, and Dobson checked in with the second highest drop rate of all receivers in football at 23.53:
A special mention to Hopkins who does lead all rookies by virtue of his sure-handedness. That keeps him above Keenan Allen (one drop on 27 catchable balls), while the only other rookies to feature on the list find themselves in the bottom 22. Robert Woods has three drops and 22 catches, while Marlon Brown has the same number of drops and one fewer reception. Neither is as bad as Ace Sanders (20% of catchable balls dropped) or both Tavon Austin and Kenbrell Thompkins who are hovering around the 14% mark. Of course neither is as bad as Aaron Dobson who, with eight drops and 26 catches, has the second-worst catch rate of all receivers. Poor Tom Terrific.
The Patriots have their two other receivers amongst the league’s bottom 20 in drop rates: Danny Amendola (number nine, 17.39) and Kenbrell Thompkins (#12, 14.81). Not really what you’d come to expect for a team’s top three receivers (as the depth chart currently stands). Bill Belichick cannot be happy with the team’s performance in this area. As much as it is a defenders job to tackle the ball carrier, it is a receivers job to catch the football. We can look at Tom Brady's hand all we want, but the bottom line is that the receivers need to play better and continue to work at developing chemistry with Brady.
Fortunately for Dobson, he is coming off his best game as a pro against the Dolphins. Dobson led all Patriots receivers with four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown, catching all but one pass thrown his way. Most importantly, Dobson and Brady seemed to be on the same page. Maybe they’re not on the same sentence or paragraph just yet, but the progress seen was certainly noticeable.