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Roster Breakdown: Tight end

With some down time before training camp we decided to do our first of what should be many looks at the roster. Today we handle the tight ends and we will analyze a different position each day.


Locks: Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui

Bubble: James Develin

Long shots: D.J. Williams, Justin Jones, Asa Watson


BREAKDOWN:** As has been the case in recent seasons this all comes down to the health of arguably the Patriots best player: Gronkowski. At this point all signs point toward Gronk being ready to go in Week 1, but that's really not the important part of the equation for the Patriots. Can he withstand the rigors of an NFL season and put his injury problems behind him? If he can then the lack of depth at the position won't be much of a concern. If he can't, then Tom Brady will have to go without a reliable pass catching tight end for the second straight season. Hoomanawanui is a solid backup who can chip in as a blocker and occasional receiver but lacks the ability to separate consistently enough to be a true threat. Develin remains listed as a fullback but spent all of his time at tight end during the spring. The skills are pretty similar and his blocking ability should push him closer to the lock category here. We haven't seen much of Williams since he arrived late last season but he is mobile and could stick around for insurance. Jones and Watson are undrafted free agents, the former possessing massive size at 6-8, 275, but appears to lack foot speed. A practice squad spot would not be out of the question for one of them.


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