Name: Jace Amaro
School: Texas Tech
Size: 6'5, 260 lbs
Expected Round: 1st, top 16
Strengths: Elite size and even better open field quickness. Plays both inline and slot. Active blocker when asked. Sharp route runner. Strong hands. Multiple route runner (drags, seams, verticals, ins and outs) and hides route until his break. Sells play action very well. Reliable receiver and the go-to receiver on his team. Not afraid of contact.
Weaknesses: Low creativity after the play breaks down- won't continue to find open field after his route ends. Can get physical with the defensive player as he stems off his route, would get called for OPI. His blocking is raw and, while active, needs improved technique; he often runs a step past his man and has to block from the side. High volume of play caused him to get shaken up on the field frequently and required him to sit out a few plays.
What is their role? Amaro is a day 1 starter and provides additional interior versatility that the Patriots have desired. He immediately steps in as the intermediate slot receiver, as well as the second tight end in heavy sets. He also provides depth in case of an injury to Rob Gronkowski.
Will it change from year 1 to year 2? His role won't be a #1 tight end, as long as Gronkowski is playing, but his productivity should increase from year 1 to year 2. He not only will take advantage of match-ups due to Gronkowski, but he should be able to provide better match-ups for Gronk as teams have to account for him.
How many downs can he play? He is a four down player, who is active in both the passing and rushing game.
What’s his ST value? He could be able to be a core four, if asked. Likely he'll play on kick and punt return.
Does he have positional versatility? Amaro can play inline, slot, and has the ability to take on fullback responsibilities. He creates flexibility on the offense as his availability in multiple packages should create tremendous mismatches.
Why the Patriots? The Patriots need depth behind Gronk in their most important offensive position. Amaro is the best tight end in the draft and could provide a similar presence that Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham have in Cincinnati. With his tremendous receiving ability, as well as his willingness to block, he can flex around the offense to overwhelm whatever defense lines up. Amaro is the best combination of size, speed, receiving, and upside of all the tight ends in the draft and would give Brady and the whoever is the quarterback of the future another elite weapon to play with.
Why not the Patriots? The Patriots will likely have to trade up to grab him and this is a deep draft for the Patriots to give up picks. Amaro also present a skill package that could be considered too similar to Gronkowski for the Patriots to deem him worth a first round pick. Could they opt for a player who adds a new element to the offense, instead of an undeniably talented player who provides just a second Gronk? Also, with the Patriots having such high needs at defensive tackle, it might not be wise to use a first round pick (and a projected day 1 starter) on an otherwise less-essential position.
Verdict: While Amaro would be a tremendous addition to the Patriots offense, and definitely fills a need, his value of being another Gronk, as well as the cost of moving up to grab him, might not be enough to warrant a selection. I see the Patriots going in another direction, while Amaro makes another team extremely happy.