As the 2019 NFL Draft draws near, Patriots.com looks at prospects at each position that might make sense for New England.
With Rob Gronkowski retired and no proven options currently on the depth chart, tight end figures to be among the team’s biggest needs come draft weekend.
1 – T.J. Hockenson, Iowa: He might be gone too early for the Patriots to realistically get involved (some mocks have him going in the top 10) but if he’s available in the 20s Bill Belichick might be enticed to move up. Best pass receiver/blocker combination available.
2 – Irv Smith, Alabama: Not much of a blocker but may be the best option as a pure receiver/big play threat. Definite possibility as a move tight end who could be an option at 32 or in the second round.
3 – Noah Fant, Iowa: Similar to Smith in style and stature. Had some issues with Belichick confidant Kirk Ferentz during his time with the Hawkeyes, which may be a red flag.
4 – Kahale Warring, San Diego State: Warring uses his 6-5 frame well and carve out space and is an effective receiver with excellent hands. Although not an overly physical tight end, Warring is a willing blocker and appears poised for further development at NFL level.
5 – Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M: Had a monster season in his only year with the Aggies, catching 10 touchdowns. His athleticism and hands will make him an option in the passing game similar in style to Travis Kelce.
OTHER NAMES TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
- Kaden Smith, Stanford
- Alize Mack, Notre Dame
- Caleb Wilson, UCLA
- Foster Moreau, LSU
- Josh Oliver, San Jose State