Rob Gronkowski is one of the NFL‘s best tight ends. No single defender can cover him and he even beats double coverage. Gronk can catch passes from any direction distance down field, which is why Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offense struggle a little without him.
Gronk underwent back surgery over the summer and missed the team’s first six games. In those games, Brady threw for only 300 yards once. In the rest of the games, Brady threw for 300 or more yards five times.
Back to Gronk, upon his return, it looked like he did not miss a beat. In his first game, he had eight catches for 114 yards. From Week 9 to Week 13, Gronk had four straight touchdowns (they had a bye in Week 10). Gronk looked like a top-five tight end. That is, until he tore his ACL in Week 14.
Gronkowski’s 2013 season was over as quickly as it started. In his six full games, he finished as the 14th-best tight end with 80 fantasy points. A lot of owners drafted Gronk in the middle rounds and stashed him on the bench until he returned, while other owners avoided him and were able to pick up Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron.
Fast forwarding to 2014, Gronk should not be drafted among the top 10 of tight ends. There are eight months until the regular season, which may be enough time for him to heal. However, there is no set timetable for his return and he could likely be unavailable for the start of the season.
If Gronk were to be drafted, it has to be as a backup. He has suffered from two season-ending injuries in as many years and could hurt your team again in 2014. With the emergence of Thomas, Cameron and Charles Clay and the consistent play from Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis and Jason Witten, Gronk is quickly falling out of the must-draft tight ends.