The New England Patriots have a fantastic camp battle ahead at the tight end position. While Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett are both locks to make the squad, there are still a handful of qualified players that deserve a spot; other teams could only dream of being so lucky.
Fullback James Develin is likely in direct competition with free agent signing Clay Harbor. Develin has experience in the system and the Patriots truly missed his presence as a lead blocker in the backfield. Harbor brings unparalleled athleticism and experience as both a fullback and a joke tight end, a la Aaron Hernandez. Harbor received a $400,000 signing bonus, which is traditionally reserved for roster locks.
At the traditional tight end role, the Patriots have a nice depth of competition as well.
Blocking tight end Michael Williams might have an inside edge to make the team after serving the team in 2015, but he lacks any value outside of being an additional blocker. 2015 6th round pick A.J. Derby is hoping to leave his mark with his athleticism and time as a former quarterback in college; Derby spent 2015 on the injured reserve.
The Patriots added two undrafted rookies in Vanderbilt's Steven Scheu and East Carolina's Bryce Williams. Scheu was one of the most productive tight ends in college football in 2014, earning All SEC distinction with 39 receptions for 525 yards, but poor quarterback play hurt his stock in 2015. Williams was regarded as one of the top tight end prospects in the 2016 Draft, but he had a bad combine experience and plummeted.
Who is the third tight end to make the Patriots roster?