In a mock draft I took place in this afternoon, an owner selected Rob Gronkowski in the 5th round. Lucky for him, but in all reality, he shouldn’t have slipped past the fourth in my opinion.
Ever since the news broke that Gronkowski is to undergo back surgery, the Patriots’ tight ends’ ADP has fallen significantly. Before the injury news broke, he was a second round guy for sure, but now, Fantasy Calculator has him at 5.01. Sure, a big guy like Gronkowski, who has already dealt with a high ankle sprain and a broken forearm, doesn’t bode well with a back injury. These types of issues can be lingering and apparently he will require 12 weeks to fully recover, which puts his status for Week 1 of the 2013 regular season in jeopardy. I get it if people want to pass on the banged up tight end, but to let a dominating force like Gronkowski slip all the way to the middle of the fifth round is just absurd. When he’s on the field, he is arguably the most dominating receiving threat in football, especially in the red zone. His 29 red zone scores over the past three seasons is nine more than the second place guy. In each of his first three seasons, Gronkowski has scored at least 10 touchdowns, including a career high 17 in 2011.
As for the injury aspect, ESPN’s Stephania Bell provided some terrific analysis on the surgery Gronkowski will have done on Tuesday. She stated that these types of procedures are usually very successful and that the performers of the surgery studied that there is 89% return rate. You can check out more by clicking the link above. Even if Gronkowski misses a game or two in September, this guy still has the elite skills to finish the 2013 season as the number one tight end in fantasy. Yes, there is definitely a fair share of risk involved here, but there is such an influx of viable fantasy tight ends that they are always on the waiver wire. If you are planning on selecting Gronkowski, I’d draft another tight end towards the end of your draft, just in case.
But boy, as long as he suits up this year, we may be seeing Gronk smash.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.