2. Dalton Keene
Dalton Keene is a smash-mouth player that earned the nickname of “Rambo” at Virginia Tech.
The Patriots couldn’t leave the third round of this past year’s NFL Draft without selecting the versatile and multidimensional tight end in Dalton Keene 101st overall.
Keene’s athleticism is exactly what’s going to get him on the field. He has the ability and skill to play tight end on or off the line or split out in the slot position, in addition to being a competent utility player from the running back or full back position in selective formations.
At 6-foot-4 and 253 pounds, Keene has the size and frame to be prominent at tight end and carries the ball like a bruising north-south running back. The former Virginia Tech Hokie finished his college career with 59 receptions, averaging 12.7 yards per catch, for 748 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
What’s underrated about Keene is his potential as a pass and run blocker. The grit that he displayed in college that earned him the nickname “Rambo” from Virginia Tech’s offensive coordinator Brad Cornelson is exactly what the Patriots have been missing both at the TE position and on the roster as a whole.
Cornelson said Keene is the “toughest player I’ve ever seen.”
Needless to say, Keene has the makeup of a player that head coach Bill Belichick loves to have in order to fulfill the Patriots’ identity: a tough, gritty, all around do-it-all guy.