Dominick Petrillo @EnvisionFF
What did the Buccaneers get by trading a fourth-round pick to the Patriots for Rob Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick? In short, they got the best tight end in NFL history, The Gronk!
Gronk was the best TE for many years in New England. At 6’6 and 260 pounds, he was a monster in the pass game and a blocking machine in the run game. After taking a season away from football and losing 30 pounds, is he still the same? Well, not right now. At best, the season is still five months away. This will give him plenty of time to get stronger and build his body back up to what it was.
If 2018 was any indication, Gronkowski does not have much left in the tank. However, he is still better than anything the Buccaneers had at the position in 2019. During his final season of 2018, Gronkowski caught only 47 of 72 targets for 682 yards and only three TD. Again, not great numbers, but he made up for his lack of production with his blocking ability, which helped Sony Michel show what he had in the playoffs. Which helped the Patriots return to and win yet another Super Bowl over the Rams.
While 2018 was not great, it was only one season earlier in 2017 that Gronkowski was a pro bowler as well as an All-Pro selection at the position. With 69 receptions on 102 targets, Gronk gained 1,084 yards and had eight TD. In the talented Tampa Bay offense, these 2017 numbers are not out of the realm of possibility for him in 2020.
Gronk’s potential 2020 breakout could be a gut punch to owners of both OJ. Howard and Cameron Brate. Their value just went from a brand-new Mustang down to a 1998 Ford Escort. Gronk is not coming back to the NFL to play second fiddle in Tampa. He is coming back to help his best friend; Tom Brady finish his career on a bright note in bright and sunny Florida. This is going to be great for Brady’s fantasy value. He is now a firm top 10 quarterback. More than likely top six.
But what of Gronk? Where is his fantasy value going to land?
Even after a season off, Gronk is still better than most of the TEs in the league. While George Kittle and Mark Andrews may have passed him for the moment, no one else has stepped up to fill the void he left. He is by far, still the best blocker at the position, and coming back healthy, he could take his spot right back in the top four at the TE position. He firmly a TE1.
The best part about him now is after missing a season, his price will be lower, and he may actually become a value rather than a hindrance to your fantasy draft. And one more fun stat from Scott Barrett, If Gronk plays all 16 games and compiles 1,150 yards and 11 TD he will finish his career with 69 yards/game and .69 TD/game. Very Nice.