The New England Patriots never truly addressed their tight end position in 2019 after the somewhat shocking retirement of Rob Gronkowski. Gronk’s retirement has since then turned into a year-long hiatus where he rejoined the NFL and is now playing with Tom Brady for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Patriots have since signed veteran Matt LaCosse, drafted Ryan Izzo in 2018, and also drafted a pair of tight ends in the third round of this past year’s NFL Draft, Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene. The plan this offseason was to upgrade the tight end position that produced little to no production just a season ago.
Overall, the Patriots needed a positive change to the tight end position and have since acknowledged the lack of production from the position. The Pats knew they couldn’t afford another season like they endured in 2019, and they are optimistic the position will revive again in 2020.
Asiasi (6’5, 280 lbs) and Keene (6’4, 251 lbs) are two young and versatile playmaking tight ends who will fit in perfectly with the other young receivers currently on the team. Asiasi adds a big athletic target who can help spread the field for Stidham, and Keene has the makings to be a productive gadget for the Patriots who can line up in multiple positions, including fullback.
LaCosse and Izzo displayed glimpses of being complementary and additional pieces to the team, but they both are not starting or traditional tight ends in the NFL.