Carolina Chaos draft pick Eric Dobson

Here comes the boom: Breaking down Eric Dobson’s explosive style of play

By Hayden Lewis | May 25, 2024

Eric Dobson was one of the biggest and most explosive players selected in the 2024 PLL College Draft presented by Q-Collar. 

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 235 pounds, Dobson possesses a rare combination of size, speed and finesse in his game. The Carolina Chaos draftee has struggled to stay consistent this year for Notre Dame, but when his game is on, he’s virtually unstoppable.

In this trio of clips, Dobson showcases every attribute that makes his game exciting. 

The first clip displays Dobson’s quick first step as he takes on Beau Pederson, Utah’s second-round pick. Dobson works Pederson down the alley before rolling away from the patented Pederson crowbar check and firing a howitzer that stung nylon. 

Dobson’s ability to dig into the ground and explode on his first step leaves Pederson behind off the hop, and as soon as Dobson recognized that he had a step, he opened up his toolbox and went to work. 

Dobson played a game of peek-a-boo with the Duke defense in clip two after a mean face dodge. Dobson’s shot from distance is dangerous and requires defenders to close out on him in coverage, allowing him to showcase his finesse. Not many guys at 6-foot-5 can salamander through a defense and pin a corner while shooting an off-balance leaner. 

Clip three is all about Dobson’s range and power. He has a flamethrower disguised as a lacrosse stick and is constantly punishing corners with his shot. 

These plays flaunt Dobson’s excellence, but the Dobson seen in these clips isn’t always the same player week in and week out. Dobson struggles with consistency, partially because Notre Dame is loaded with talent and he’s not the primary ball-handler in the offense. 

In 2023, Dobson tallied 45 points in 16 games (34G, 11A) for Notre Dame in an All-American season. This season, he’s totaled 27 points in 15 games (15G, 12A) and hasn’t played with the same flair. 

The drop in point production didn’t come from a dropoff in shooting percentage. It mainly stemmed from Dobson only taking 61 total shots this season, compared to the 104 he took in 2023. Dobson’s shot has been somewhat inconsistent, as well, but his primary issue is his lack of takes on offense. 

With the Chaos, Dobson won’t be a primary ball-handler, but he can still produce and help the team if he executes his looks in the offense. 

Shane Knobloch or Kyle Jackson will draw the long-stick midfielder out of the box, leaving Dobson on short-stick defensive midfielders. Dobson’s aforementioned stature can pay dividends in the Chaos offense if he’s used in the two-man game with Josh Byrne

As a screener, Dobson’s frame is hard to work over the top, which will lead to SSDMs switching on to Byrne. Byrne is an elite goal-scorer and will likely draw double teams after using a screen because he’s too dangerous when matched against an SSDM, which will free up Dobson to fade from his pick and present his stick as a target. 

This is what Dobson can do from range with space:

Dobson’s worm burner has too much gas. His left hand is lethal when he can cock back into his full windup before firing a shot. When Dobson puts his full force behind a shot, it can explode over 100 miles per hour.

Dobson can become the Chaos’ most dangerous deep threat since Mac O’Keefe. Two-point shooting hasn’t been a main staple in the Chaos’ offense in the past two years, but a push toward range scoring may be on the horizon. 

Consistency is key for players trying to make the 19-man gameday roster in the PLL each week, however, and Dobson will need to develop that into his game to be an everyday guy. 

Dobson will need to demand touches and insert himself into games early to activate his full bag of tricks. Dobson can also work his one-on-one matchups with SSDMs to create scoring opportunities for himself off the dodge and can create scoring opportunities from long range by working to get open off-ball. Screening for Byrne will also be a paramount task for Dobson to help the Chaos reach new heights on offense.