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Friday, April 23, 2010
Patriots trade up to get Gronkowski

By Tim Graham

The New England Patriots traded a sixth-round pick to move up two slots and take Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski with the 42nd selection in the draft.

Why the Patriots picked him: The Patriots had a major need at tight end, especially one who could catch after they declined to re-sign Benjamin Watson. They signed veteran free agent Alge Crumpler, who has evolved into more of a blocking tight end than a receiver.

Where Gronkowski fits: Fantasy football alert! Gronkowski likely becomes a key red-zone target for Tom Brady. Aside from Gronkowski and Crumpler, the only tight ends on the roster are Robbie Agnone and Rob Myers, undrafted rookies last year without an NFL reception between them.

Scouts Inc. says: Big, soft hands. Reliable pass catcher. Shows the ability to catch over his head and to adjust to the poorly thrown pass. ... Flashes the ability to win the jump ball and/or sneak down the seam. Has adequate-to-good straight-line speed but not elite. Does not show much wiggle after the catch, either. Has a nose for the end zone and does a great job of getting open as a red zone target. ... Solid overall blocker with room to improve in this area. Gives a solid effort and will fight to finish. Flashes a mean streak. Does a good job with angles in space and shows ability to serve as occasional lead blocker in a FB/H-back role.