The New England Patriots are heading into the 2014 draft with a number of areas of concern and one of the main spots is at tight end and this year there are a number of prospects that could fit right in with Rob Gronkowski, as players like Jace Amaro, Eric Ebron, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Arthur Lynch and Troy Niklas have declared for the upcoming event.
Gronkowski is of course the tight end that took the NFL by storm, but after being injured for most of last season and then getting knocked out after a bad hit against the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots need an insurance policy. The team had two great tight ends in Gronk and Aaron Hernandez, but one ended up on the injured list and the other was accused of murder and is now in jail. One of the biggest reasons the Patriots did not win over the Broncos this season in the AFC championship game was the glaring hole that Gronk left in the offense and now it is time to re-tool for the Pats.
When Gronkowski is healthy there might be no better tight end in football apart from Jimmy Graham, but when he is not in the offense, it changes things completely for Tom Brady and that is why many experts predict that the Patriots will look to a tight end in the draft. The position is deep this season and right now the consensus is that Ebron and Amaro are the top names in the draft and while they may go sooner than the Patriots pick, there is a chance they could trade up or they could take one of the other players that are in the running at tight end.
Gronkowski made a huge impact once he returned in 2013 and after making 79 catches in 11 games last season for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns, he added 39 catches in seven games for nearly 600 yards and four touchdowns. The team is hoping Gronk can get back to his 124 catch season from a few years ago for 17 TDs and over 1,300 yards, but that was him in 16 games and injuries now are the primary issue. Having another player to take the place of Hernandez is a huge priority and adding someone like Ebron or Amaro could be deadly for the offense.
Both players are athletic freaks and Amaro comes in as a junior after making 98 catches for 1,240 yards wat TT and he was one of the top tight ends in college football. Ebron is considered to be just as good and he could be an even better prospect after making 62 catches for 973 yards and three touchdowns and he measures up at 6-4 and 245 lbs. coming into the draft.