The New England Patriots thought highly enough of new TE Rob Gronkowski to trade up two picks in the 2nd round to nab him early. Of course, tight end is a position of great need and Gronkowski is one of the best in the draft. This pick left first round talent, albeit injured product, Sergio Kindle still on the board. Substituting one injured good for another.
Earlier, I had this to say about Gronk:
Verdict: Gronkowski is a phenomenal player who is an all around player who would be the best fit for the Patriots. His injury past scares me and that's what makes me shy away from selecting him in the 2nd round mock drafts. If the Patriots have faith that his back won't be a problem, Gronkowski would be the best fit in the entire draft to fill the tight end role. If his back is still questioned, then I have to say that we should pass on him and take a more healthy player later in the draft.
Clearly, the Patriots have cleared his injury and he's ready to roll. I think the Patriots went Tight End because they don't believe any of the OLBs are worth such an early pick. Gronkowski can catch. He can blaze. He can block. If he's not an injury concern, he's a fantastic selection. Due to his injury, he was forced to miss the Combine but did well at his Pro Day.
More information after the Jump!
Click the above link for great quotes and information.
Gronkowski (6-foot-6 1/4, 258 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds with the wind and 4.73 seconds against the wind. He had a 33 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot, 11-inch broad jump, a 4.47-second short shuttle, a 7.18-second three-cone drill and stood on his bench press number  from the combine.
Release: Good initial quickness off the snap.
Hands: Considered his best skill.
Route running: Gains a quick release off the snap and has enough straight-line speed to challenge down the seam.
After the catch: 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.
Blocking: A legitimate in-line blocker.
Intangibles: Has to prove he's healthy after missing the entire 2009 season due to back surgery and concerns over nerve damage.
Click the link for a more in-depth analysis!
If the Patriots believe he's healthy, he's the best tight end fit for this team.