As Aaron Dobson continues to nurse his nagging foot injury, Brandon LaFell has a chance to make an impact with the Patriots passing offense this season.

LaFell is a big receiver with adequate speed for wide out. With the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski to the Patriots’ passing attack, LaFell could make an impact against man coverage in the short passing game, while also becoming a possible downfield target.


At 6-foot-2, 211 pounds, LaFell has the height and build to be a very productive target for Tom Brady. He has soft hands and flashes the ability to catch the ball away from his body. He also is an athletic receiver and has shown some ability to catch the ball in traffic and on jump-ball situations.


LaFell possesses good top-end speed for a player his size, but he isn’t a true burner. He may have trouble beating defenders downfield. He’s had difficulty with press-coverages and struggles for separation at times.

With Gronk taking up two defenders and speedy slot receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola garnering most of the attention of opposing defenses, LaFell could play a big role on the perimeter for the Patriots this season.

At least until Dobson returns.


Kevin Saleeba is the senior editor and columnist for Patriots Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive knowledge of the team and experience covering the Patriots. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinSaleeba or like him on Facebook.

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