New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is regarded as the best in the entire NFL and it’s for a good reason. He’s better than any other tight end in every facet of the job. No one blocks better than he does and no one is a better receiver.
Pro Football Focus’ Tyler Loechner analyzed the efficiency of these tight ends as receivers by calculating the average yards gained on each route run by a tight end. Some tight ends put up receiving numbers similar to those of Gronkowski, but they also run far more routes, giving them more opportunities to produce.
Guess which tight end is the most efficient in the NFL?
No tight end picks up more yards per route run than Gronkowski and it’s not even close. He’s picking up over 3.5 yards per route run, when only one other tight end is picking up 2.5 yards per route run.
Oh, that other tight end is Patriots TE Martellus Bennett.
Yes, you’re reading that correctly, the Patriots have the two most efficient receiving tight ends in the NFL, with Bennett edging out top tier tight ends like Panthers TE Greg Olsen and Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham.
Bennett, like Gronkowski, is also an excellent blocker, giving the Patriots two of the most complete players at the position in the entire league. I’d argue that Olsen and healthy Bengals TE Tyler Eifert are the only other players on their tier.
The question is whether the Patriots system for tight ends is really just incredible, or if the talent is just amazing, or maybe a little bit of both. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels does an excellent job of getting the tight ends in good match-ups and QB Tom Brady ensures they get the ball behind the defensive coverage.
Gronkowski and Bennett are going to need big days against the Seahawks defense on Sunday.