Rob Gronkowski is the most feared tight end in the NFL but his off the field exploits rival even his widely renowned gridiron heroics. Below we will predict what the upcoming season portends and how many trips into the endzone the Patriots receiver will have to help us cash in our NFL picks.
The Gronk sure knows how to have fun as we have seen him partying with porn stars and dancing on tabletops throughout the years. But the reason he is so fascinating off the field is what he does on the field. Since he was selected by the Patriots in the second-round of the 2010 draft the 6’6” dynamo has wreaked havoc on opposition defenses and his soft hands belie the juggernaut that he becomes once the ball is safely in his hands. He has proven too quick for linebackers to adequately cover him and too explosive for the secondary to contain him. When healthy he is the best in the business and arguably the greatest tight end of all time.
Below is a thumbnail sketch of Gronkowski’s career:
2010 – 16 Games Played – 42 Receptions – 546 Receiving Yards – 10 TD’s
2011 – 16 Games Played – 90 Receptions – 1327 Receiving Yards – 17 TD’s
2012 – 11 Games Played – 55 Receptions – 790 Receiving Yards – 11 TD’s
2013 – 7 Games Played – 39 Receptions – 592 receiving Yards – 4 TD’s
2014 – 15 Games Played – 82 Receptions – 1124 Receiving Yards – 12 TD’s
What Does 2015 Hold?
It is clear that 2011 was a watershed mark for Gronkowski and the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick’s secret weapon was no longer a secret at all as Gronkowski led the entire league in touchdown receptions that season. His stellar production contributed mightily to the New England Patriots being crowned AFC champions though it was a disappointing end when the New York Giants derailed the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
Since then Gronkowski has not played an entire season though 2014 proved to be as close as possible when Gronk suited up for 15 of the 16 contests and earned his first Super Bowl ring. It was a remarkable return for a player who was sidelined with an ACL and MCL tear late in the 2013 campaign. In fact, his offensive output was the best since his second year as a pro and rightfully earned him the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Reports are that Gronkowski has had the good fortune of experiencing the offseason completely healthy and healed of any bumps and bruises he endured last year. He came away from the Super Bowl with nothing but a smile on his face and a Super Bowl victory added to his burgeoning resume. Assuming he is healthy will he eclipse the dozen TD’s he scored in the 2014 regular season or will the possible absence of Tom Brady in the first four games hinder his production?
Whether Brady is playing pass and catch with Gronkowski in the first four games of the season is a question mark that will most likely prompt the offshore bookmakers to adjust the NFL odds downward on any proposition that involves Rob Gronkowski and total touchdowns. My chief concern if I have any that Gronkowski, at 26-years-old and at the peak of his physical abilities, will tail off is the addition of former Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler. Chandler is a definite weapon and not since the Patriots complemented Gronkowski with fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez, whom they plucked in the fourth round of the same draft they stole Gronkowski, have they had anyone even close to a pass catching option at tight end.
However, it was in Gronkowski’s best statistical season that Aaron Hernandez hauled in 79 receptions and found the endzone on seven occasions. That didn’t preclude Gronkowski from putting up all those gaudy numbers and I would venture to say the addition of a tight end of Chandler’s ilk will only take some of the heat off No. 87 and allow him to do what he does best.
When you see the NFL prop on Gronkowski total touchdown receptions being hung at various offshore shops don’t be shy about going over the posted total because in my mind Gronkowski could be in line for his best season yet!