There is a narrative that New England Patriots defacto general manager Bill Belichick swings and misses when it comes to drafting wide receivers. Purley looking at statistics, they would say that narrative is correct. But, Tom Brady just appeared on the Howard Stern show, and he said that he told Belichick, if you send a guy out that I don’t trust I’m not throwing him the ball. That makes you wonder if Belichick’s misses were more about Brady’s lack of trust.
Every time the Draft comes around, new lists get made about who Bill Belichick’s biggest Draft busts are. One name that always seems to make this list is former second round draft pick Aaron Dobson, a title that he acknowledged himself.
I saw this tweet, smiled and moved on. I’ve always thought Dobson got a bad rap, and that his time in New England wasn’t as bad as some people remember him as. The problem with success is, once you’ve had it, you want more. The problem with nice things is, once you’ve had nice things, you want more nice things. Ever since the 2007 season if a receiver doesn’t match Randy Moss’s Hall of Fame career in New England, they are labeled a bust.
Dobson then put out another tweet that made me think about this a little harder.
I think it’s fair to say that Dobson wasn’t given enough opportunities to prove himself, and it makes me wonder if he didn’t fall into the “Brady circle of trust”. If Brady didn’t want to throw him the ball, was Dobson pushed out and not allowed to shine? Brady didn’t elaborate on what it took to become a part of the circle of trust, but I have to wonder if an offensive player, hanging around defensive players hurt Dobson’s opportunities in New England. I’ve never played at the NFL level and I don’t know if locker rooms are different, but in my playing days I did spend more time with the offense, but that was because we were talking about offensive things. When it wasn’t about football and we were just hangin out, Special Teams, Offense, Defense, it didn’t matter we all hung out together. One of my best friends was the defensive lineman that lined up in front of me every practice.
That makes me wonder even more, is Belichick actually bad at drafting receivers, or was he bad at drafting receivers Tom Brady would actually work with. It was pretty much confirmed last season that Brady didn’t want to work with N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers. Brady pushed to get Mohamed Sanu, and even after Sanu was injured and continually kept dropping catchable passes, Brady kept throwing to him. If Meyers or Harry would drop a ball and they were in the dog house. Josh McDaniels talked about how he had to get Harry more involved in the game plan. Was it that he had to figure out how to get him involved in the game plan that Brady would approve?
If Bill Belichick suddenly gets better at drafting wide receivers with a new quarterback, will we look back at Aaron Dobson and stop labeling him a draft bust, and starting wonder, what could he have been?