New England Patriots Positional Breakdown: Tight Ends


(This is the third entry in our ‘positional breakdown’ feature going through the New England Patriots roster. Next up is the tight ends)

Roster: Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, Tim Wright, Michael Hoomanawanui

As long as Gronk is in a Patriots uniform, they will have the best group of tight ends in the league. He is the most dominant offensive weapon in the NFL, and aside from Tom Brady, he is the most valuable player on this Patriots team. He can’t be covered in 1-on-1 situations, he is a monster in the red zone, and he is an excellent blocker to boot. When healthy, I could argue there hasn’t been a more dominant force in the NFL since Randy Moss in his prime.

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However we can’t forget about the other guys, especially one Scott Chandler, which may prove to be the most underrated signing of the 2015 free agency period. Believe it or not, Chandler is even bigger than Gronk, as he stands at 6’7, 260 pounds. He is extremely athletic as well, routinely beating linebackers, and even safeties in 1-on-1 matchups. Like Gronkowski, his size is valuable in the red zone, as even if he is covered, he can just go up and make a play over you. The combination of Gronk and Chandler coming at linebackers and safeties in 2015 could prove to be the most dangerous duo in the NFL.

I like Tim Wright’s game, but he just never found a role in the 2014 Patriots’ offense. He will be given opportunities to break through in 2015, but he won’t become a major role player, barring any big injuries. I believe Chandler walks into training camp with the number two tight end job wrapped up, and I just don’t see Wright playing well enough to knock him off that perch. Wright has talent, but he will get buried behind the monstrous duo of Gronk and Chandler.

Hooman is a solid backup, although his $1.5 million cap hit in 2015 is something to keep an eye on. He is a candidate to get cut before the 2015 season gets underway.