It's an odd year for TEs as two of the best prospects are coming off serious injuries. Last year Rob Gronkowski's season was ended before it ever started by back surgery. At the combine he skipped most workouts but he chose to prove his recovery by participating in the bench press. Gronkowski is a good receiving TE with great size at 6' 6 1/4", 264lbs and solid blocking skills. Gronkowski would be an excellent addition in the in-line TE role. He has solid blocking skills that could develop further and is a dangerous target in the receiving game.
"Gronk" finished his career with nearly 1,200 yards on 75 receptions with 16 TDs despite playing in just 22 games. His hands are widely praised, he runs good routes, that combined with his great size make him an excellent receiving weapon.
Shows incredibly quick feet. Has a good burst into and out of his breaks. Doesn't possess the kind of acceleration that gets him up to top speed quickly..... Even though he shows some agility, Gronkowski won't make a lot of people miss in the open field. May not have the best vertical leap, but he's an intelligent player who can high-point the ball....... Is a much better blocker than he often gets credit. Is big and powerful and can neutralize smaller defensive ends. Is a much better blocker when he's coming out of a two-point stance.......Has the strength to shrug off defenders and not lose a step when he has the ball. Can out-muscle defenders when the ball is in the air......Shows great concentration and hands while going over the middle. Nicely snatches the ball outside his frame, much more so than other top tight ends ......Will need to learn how to play out of the three-point stance more after being split out a lot......Even though Gronkowski doesn't have the best speed, he is a solid route runner. Used mostly on slants and short comebacks at Arizona.......Doesn't have the best speed, but knows how to get himself open in other ways. Quickly flashes head moves to fake defenders......He's big and physical at the point of attack, but agile enough to be a sound receiver.
NFL Draft Scout
Good initial quickness off the snap. Quick enough that he was often lined up wide in this offense. Good use of hands to fight through the initial jam by the defender when coming out of the three-point stance. Good lateral agility to elude and get into his route quickly. Good acceleration and at least adequate straight-line speed to challenge defenders down the seam......Considered his best skill. Soft, reliable hands to pluck the ball outside of his frame. Good flexibility for a man his size. Can bend low to get the ball off his shoe-tops or reach high and wide to snatch it out of the air. Can track the ball over either shoulder. Good concentration to catch the ball with defenders draped over him.......Gains a quick release off the snap and has enough straight-line speed to challenge down the seam. Good use of shoulder and head fakes to get the defender leaning and has good body control and balance to change directions quickly. Understands where the holes in the zone are and settles nicely. Varies his speed to gain a step against defenders more athletic than he is......Isn't going to make many people miss due to his elusiveness, but is a physical, throw-back type tight end with the ball in his hands. Tough to bring down due to his toughness, strength and determination......A legitimate in-line blocker. Provides a solid pop to the defender off the snap and works to sustain. Good lateral agility to mirror the defender and has the hand strength and accurate hand placement to latch on. Good strength to ride the defensive end in pass protection or against the run. Reliable seal blocker on the edge and is surprisingly effective driving defenders off the ball. Not as effective getting to and blocking at the second level, though he appears to have the natural skills to ultimately be successful in this area.
Gronkowski has prototypical size and good speed. Shows fluid hips and runs precise routes. Possesses the lateral quickness and burst to get open in man coverage. Catches the ball away from his chest and displays good body control. Effective blocker that can generate a push. Very productive in his two seasons in the Pac-10.......Durability concerns since he missed the entire 2009 season after back surgery and missed three games in 2008. Does not have a great top-end speed and may not be able to stretch the field at the next level. Lacks the elusiveness to make people miss after catch.
Gronkowski is exactly what I'm want as the in-line TE in Indy's offense. A good blocker and tall target who runs good routes with great hands. However he's an injury risk going into a position that entails constant pounding on his body already having back issues. In addition he's a luxury pick as the Colts are unlikely to run 2 TE as a base when they have 4 starting caliber WRs. There's still a significant role for a in-line TE, but it's not a starting role. Gronkowski is expected to be a 2nd round pick. He's among my favorites, and there's a good chance if he's available at 63 he'll be the best value on the board, but loses ground as a player who isn't likely to get full starter time for a fair amount of time because of the Colts current roster situation.