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New England Patriots Links 7/22/10 - TE Rob Gronkowski Expected To Contribute Right Away

<em>Rookie TE Rob Gronkowski runs through a drill at rookie mini-camp</em>.
Rookie TE Rob Gronkowski runs through a drill at rookie mini-camp.

Rich Perillo profiles second-round draft pick TE Rob Gronkowski.

According to Belichick he is comfortable that Gronkowski is as talented as he was before he had health issues.

"I think you can see from his workout that he still has the same skills he had in 2008," Belichick said following Day 2 of the draft. "I don’t think that’s a question and our doctors feel comfortable with his rehab and where he’s at now."

Injury aside, what Gronkowski brings to New England is a rare combination of size, speed and athleticism. The hulking tight end stands 6-6 and weighs 265 pounds and creates matchup problems for whoever is assigned to cover him.

In two years and only 22 games, Gronkowski caught more passes (75) for more yards (1,197) and had more touchdown catches (16) than any tight end in Wildcats history.

"He is a mismatch in every way," said Arizona offensive coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh. "Cover him with a linebacker and he is just too fast. Cover him with a safety and he is just too big and physical. Very few people in our league could cover him at all and I believe he will have the same kind of success in the NFL.

" In spite of the flashy numbers in the receiving game, his coach thinks that his willingness to get dirty in the trenches is the thing that makes him special. "For the average fan this goes unnoticed, but Rob blocks better than any tight end I’ve seen," Bedenbaugh said. "In my opinion, the thing that makes him great is his ability to block."