7. Martellus Bennett
Just like Long, Bennett was a high-profile offseason acquisition for the Patriots. And just like Long, Bennett is delivering, making the Patriots look like free agency wizards once again.
Through three games, Bennett has pulled in 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown, which came in the first half against the Dolphins. Bennett also took a handoff and churned out six yards on Thursday Night football, another instance of the Patriots milking as much talent as possible out of their players and using them in various ways.
The Patriots signed Bennett in the offseason because they are well aware of Rob Gronkowski’s injury-proneness. Essentially, any team that is lucky enough to have Gronk in their ranks must also have a starting-caliber No. 2 tight end. Gronk’s playing style is simply too rough-and-tumble to not have a guy like Bennett backing him up.
Just think back to last year, when the Patriots’ Scott Chandler experiment failed. When Gronk was out, the offense was less dynamic without a tight end threat.
Bennett has been huge so far, and it will be interesting to see how is workload is altered (or not altered) with Gronkowski on the field more.
Next: 6. Jabaal Sheard