Weight: 264 lbs.
Bench: 23 reps, 225 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 4.65
Honors: 2008 First Team All-PAC 10, 2008 Third Team All American, 2007 Freshman All American (Rivals.com), 2007 All-PAC 10 Honorable Mention
2009 stats: Missed entire season (back)
Many thought it was a big let-down that the Patriots passed up standout wide receiver Dez Bryant twice in last night's first round of the NFL Draft, but this evening in Round 2 of the Draft, the New England Patriots have found their guy.
It was no secret that Tom Brady needed toys. Randy Moss, as talented as he is, is in all likelihood in his last season with the team. Wes Welker, coming off of major reconstructive knee surgery, has no time table for return, and when he does eventually get back on the field, nobody knows how he'll do.
Torry Holt and Julian Edelman should contribute nicely, but with an aging and weak running game, and Alge Crumpler being the only Tight End on the roster, it was pretty obvious the Patriots had to jump on Arizona Tight End Rob Gronkowski, trading picks with the Oakland Raiders and leap-frogging the TE-needy Baltimore Ravens to do so.
Assuming this means the Patriots will use their remaining two Second Round picks to shore up their needs at Outside Linebacker and Defensive End instead of a Wide Receiver, Gronkowski should have quite a presence on offense for the Patriots as a rookie in this coming season.
Gronkowski provides a fluid, physical presence at the Tight End position for the Patriots, and with his ability to run routes and fight for the ball, he will be a significant red zone threat for New England, which could mean some touchdowns to boost your fantasy football team.
However, Gronkowski is not known as a player to maximize his YAC, so keep that in mind if you are thinking about putting him on your sleepers list for fantasy football this fall. Furthermore, like former Patriots' First Round pick Ben Watson can attest to, the Tight End position is not typically the most utilized in the Patriots' system, which is something to keep in mind regarding potential fantasy football value as well.
Still, Gronkowski is a pretty talented Tight End prospect, and depending on how desperate you are in your draft and whether or not the Patriots draft any more wide receivers, the Arizona alum may just creep onto your sleeper list come this fantasy football season.