I’ve noticed a lot of hand-wringing in the comment section as the Patriots over-looked Rob Gronkowski’s successor in the 2019 NFL Draft.Simply put Chase Winovich NFL Draft
, Rob Gronkowski is a generational talent and no..."WhitePatriots News Opinion and Analysis Contribute! FanPostsFanShotsAbout the Site List of Patriots Twitter AccountsWrite For Pats Pulpit!New User Welcome and Commenting GuideCommunity GuidelinesMastheadTopics Patriots Off-Season CoveragePatriots Opinion/AnalysisPatriots NewsPatriots Draft CoverageSportfolio ManagementPatriots Opinion/AnalysisThe New England Patriots Will Never Have a Tight End Like Rob Gronkowski New,45commentsEDTShareTweetShareShareThe New England Patriots Will Never Have a Tight End Like Rob Gronkowski I’ve noticed a lot of hand-wringing in the comment section as the Patriots over-looked Rob Gronkowski’s successor in the 2019 NFL Draft.Simply put, Rob Gronkowski is a generational talent and no one will ever replace what he did for this franchise.Here is a list of everyone I could find that has lined up at Tight End for the Patriots since 2000.The guys that Bill Belichick has chosen to be good enough for his team.One name I omitted, Cameron Fleming, was an offensive tackle that spent a good deal of time as a blocking TE when Rob Gronkowski was injured.Also there have been other O-linemen like Nate Solder that have taken snaps at the position.I’m also leaving out LB Mike Vrabel even if it pains me to do so, because he wasn’t here as a Tight End.He was just damned good at it.Patriots TEsNameStartEndGGSGS/GmTargetTgt/GmRecRec/GmCatch%YardsY/CLongTDTD/GmNameStartEndGGSGS/GmTargetTgt/GmRecRec/GmCatch%YardsY/CLongTDTD/GmIgnoring the sheer bulk of snaps in which Rob Gronkowski shadows all others, you can simply look at contributions based on games played.Gronkowski stands head and shoulders above the rest.Not that starting games means much under Bill Belichick Chase Winovich Buffalo Bills Jersey
, but Gronk was on the field for the first offensive snap 87% of the time.The next closest TE was Daniel Graham at 78%.Gronk was targeted 6.90 times per game on average.The next closest TE was Aaron Hernandez at 6.84 times.Again Hernandez and Gronkowskit top the most receptions per game at 4.61 and 4.53 respectively.When you look at yards per catch, the top name is Daniel Fells with only 4 receptions at 21.3 YPC.Number 2 is Rob Gronkowski at 15.1 YPC.Finally, looking at TDs per game, Rob Gronkowski is at a 69% rate (of course he is), and the next closest is again Aaron Hernandez at 47%.Before Gronk and Hernandez, here is what an average Patriots Tight End had for production:Patriots TEs BG (Before Gronk)GGSGS/GmTargetTgt/GmRecRec/GmCatch%YardsY/CLongTDTD/GmGGSGS/GmTargetTgt/GmRecRec/GmCatch%YardsY/CLongTDTD/GmThe Patriots have averaged 3 Tight Ends per year on the roster, so each was targeted an average of 2 times for 6 TE targets.That’s below Gronks target average alone.Those three TEs Color Rush Chase Winovich Jersey
, would average 48% TD/Gm, which is also below Gronk’s average.In addition those TE’s would average 11.2 YPC, which is almost 4 yards less than Gronk’s average.So let’s look at TEs that were concurrent with Gronk and Hernandez (where applicable).Patriots TEs IGA (In Gronk Era)GGSTargetTgt/GmRecRec/GmCatch%YardsY/CLongTDTD/GmGGSTargetTgt/GmRecRec/GmCatch%YardsY/CLongTDTD/GmAgain Patriots averaged 3 Tight Ends per year on the roster, but Gronk and Hernandez were two of them for a time.You notice the targets for the other TEs only dropped 0.7 per game.The receptions per game only dropped 0.4 per game.Catch percentage went up 3%, YPC went up 0.6 yards, likely because Gronk was the bigger target for the defense.Also the TD’s per game went down 6% as Gronk saw the bulk of those targets.The Patriots never had a Tight End remotely close to Gronk before Gronk, and the only one to come close to matching his production was concurrent with Gronk.Could Aaron Hernandez have put up his numbers without Gronk on the field?We’ll never know.In all likelihood Youth Chase Winovich Jersey
, the New England Patriots will never have a Tight End like Rob Gronkowski again.Considering he was the best Tight End in the NFL, neither will anyone else.And that’s ok.The Patriots will change their offense like they’ve always done to put the best 11 players on the field at one time.One of those players will not be Rob Gronkowski, and we’ll learn to live with that as we see what the 2019 Patriots Offense looks like.It might be scary good or scary bad.We don’t know, and uncertainty sucks.All I know is during the Belichick years, the Patriots are 4-1 in Super Bowls without Gronkowski and 2-2 in Super Bowls with him.They’ll find a way, but it looks like that won’t be by cloning Rob Gronkowski.More likely it will be moving the offense in a different direction entirely.I guess we’ll have to watch on Sundays and see exactly what that means. The Patriots routed the Dolphins on Sunday and one of their touchdowns in the 43-0 victory was scored by the newest member of the team.Antonio Brown caught a 20-yard touchdown in the first half and was targeted eight times overall by Tom Brady in the win. He caught four passes for 56 yards overall and got a positive review from his new quarterback when all was said and done.“It was a good start,” Brady said Womens Chase Winovich Jersey
, via WEEI.com. “I was just trying to find an open guy and he was snapping off some routes and did a good job. It was good to find him.”Brady wasn’t the only one with nice things to say after the game. Julian Edelman said Brown was “awesome” and Josh Gordon discussed how quickly Brown has picked up the offense.“He’s got a great football mind, football IQ,” Gordon said. “Guys that are football smart just pick it up faster than others. He’s one of those guys that is gifted in that area. He was able to come here and adapt on the fly and he is still learning, as we all are. But it goes to show how much he really wants to be a part of this offense, how much he really wants to contribute and how fast he did it. It was great to see him make that progress today.”Brown didn’t speak to reporters after the game and hasn’t answered any questions since a lawsuit alleging rape and sexual assault was filed against him last week. The NFL will be interviewing his accuser on Monday and there’s a chance the league could take action that makes Sunday’s good start a one-time affair.