Tight End Could Be An Issue For New England
It seems like such a long time ago that the New England Patriots were thought to have the best tight end duo in NFL history with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Fast forward to 2014, and the position is now a weak spot for the Pats.
The Patriots still have time to figure things out before the fall, but they would like to give Tom Brady as many options as possible and time to develop a connection before the season starts.
It goes without saying that the Patriots have moved on from Hernandez.
The Patriots would like to see Gronkowski on the field consistently, but injury issues have kept him from being a productive player in real football and, perhaps more devastatingly to many people, in fantasy football. Gronk has plenty of talent, but he will be bouncing back from last year’s late season knee injury. Right now, he is penciled in, along with Michael Hoomanawanui, as the starter.
Since the offense in New England revolves around tight ends being able to catch passes, the Pats are trying to find other options. Justin Jones is a possibility — he has the size to be a very special player. Yet, so far he has been underwhelming to say the least, and he might never figure things out.
Asa Watson and DJ Williams are 2 other players New England is currently considering adding to the depth chart. Both players come with quite a bit of doubt surrounding them as well. Watson went undrafted because there were some medical concerns surrounding him, and Williams played very sparingly last year. Watson and Williams will need to focus and work hard to make sure that they even see the playing field at all in 2014.
Finally, New England tinkered with James Develin in certain situations last year. He is a fullback, but was used as a move site last year. He is still working with the tight ends during the off-season, but he is not a long-term solution.
Between now and the start of the regular season, New England could go after someone like Jermichael Finley as he is still on the open market. In fact, there are several tight ends who could at least bring some value to the table if they are signed. Brady needs as many targets as possible so that the aerial attack will be strong.
This is a guest post by Michelle Millen.
Photo by Dave Rezendes