It was not that long ago that the NFL feared the two tight end offense of the New England Patriots. That time has come and gone, and teams around the league have tried to adopt the Patriots’ strategies into their own game plans. No one has yet to do it as successfully as New England over the past two years, but it is a trend bound to continue.
Nevertheless, the Patriots aimed at having both tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, for the 2013 season. Most people know of Hernandez’s legal troubles, and Gronkowski has a history of getting injured. These bumps in the road have prevented the Patriots from doing what has made their offense so potent over the last two years. But now that Gronkowski is back in the swing of things should New England consider drafting one of next year’s top tight end prospects to pair with their Pro Bowl tight end?
The answer should be a resounding yes. Tight ends have a tendency not to be drafted in the high end of the first round, and the Patriots are lying in the back end of the draft more times than not. With what seems like a stockpile of top-notch tight end talent, how could the Patriots resist?
North Carolina’s Eric Ebron, Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro and Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins are the headliners in the class. Mock drafts have these tight ends going all over the first round, between picks No. 5 and 32. The Patriots have a legitimate shot at obtaining one of these studs and shouldn’t hesitate if one is still on the board.
The New England offense is already hard to defend, but paired with one of these three tight ends the Patriots could be downright unstoppable. All three are physical freaks of nature with breakaway speed. They might not have the elusiveness of Hernandez, but they have big-time ability nonetheless.
If New England ultimately decided to pair one of these three monsters with Gronkowski, the Patriots would yet again be the kings of using their players in mismatch situations. What is even more mouthwatering is the fact that these three highly touted prospects can run and pass protect better than Hernandez ever could. These tight ends are more closely related to Gronkowski than Hernandez, who mostly played as shifty receiver.
So if giving Tom Brady another weapon to work with isn’t enough, giving him a player that could keep him upright might just entice to Patriots to consider drafting one of these three play-making tight ends in May’s 2014 NFL Draft.