Second in a series of seven by NEPD Staff Writer Jerry F.
When the Patriots emptied out their Tight End roster from 2009 releasing Ben Watson and Chris Baker, it was pretty obvious they planned a complete overhaul of that position.
The Patriots took a risk on the 6-6, 265 pound, Gronkowski when they picked him in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Gronkowski entered the draft early, despite him missing the entire 2009 college season with a lingering back injury.
He was voted third team All American in 2008 when he caught 47 passes for 672 yards and 10 TD’s, while missing 3 games due to illness. This, coupled with the fact that he was able to pass a rigorous physical examination by the New England Patriots convinced them to take a chance on him.
After going without a catch in the first preseason game against the Saints, as he was primarily used as a blocker, Gronkowski really made his mark in the second preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, catching 4 passes for 38yards and a touchdown.
Even though it seems like fellow rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez is the primary pass-catching TE, ‘Gronk’ has the opportunity to excel in the Patriots offense with Tom Brady at the helm. Brady is known for spreading the ball around and Gronkowski helps take away some of the predictability that doomed the Bill O’Brien offense last season.
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Tags: Rob Gronkowski