Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Scott Chandler
3. A.J. Derby
Cut: Jake Bequette, Michael Hoomanawanui, Jimmay Mundine
Gronkowski has also gotten a new partner. Chandler is all but guaranteed to take the No. 2 job at tight end after the departures of Fred Davis and Tim Wright over the offseason. At 6-foot-7, Chandler is a tall order in coverage and should add another layer to the Patriots’ red zone offense when he’s on the field with Gronkowski.
It appears that this summer’s training camp will signal the end of Hoomanawanui’s time in New England. Hooman was never a good receiver, but that was just fine when he was a proficient blocker; now that his blocking skills are tailing off, it’s hard to see Hooman making the final roster.
Taking his place as the No. 3 tight end will the rookie Derby. The quarterback-turned-tight end doesn’t offer much in the way of blocking ability, but he flashed excellent receiving skills in college. The knock on Derby is that he’s only played one formal year of tight end, but that could also translate into him being coachable and moldable going forward.
Defensive end-turned-tight end Bequette raised eyebrows during offseason activities, and he will salvage his career as a result of the position change (he wasn’t doing much of anything as a defensive end). He’ll land on the practice squad, and undrafted rookie Mundine will be cut loose.
Next: Offensive line