Once again the New England Patriots traded up, this time using the 139th selection and a fifth-round swap to move up from the 100th to the 91st overall selection in order to pick UCLA tight end Devin Asiasi. Asiasi profiles as a potential in-line option at the next level, despite measuring in only at 6-foot-3 and 257 pounds. He has the speed to challenge linebackers and safeties down the seam and is a willing blocker who could stand to improve his technique to sustain them better.
As a rookie, Asiasi will compete for snaps with Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse although he will likely be brought along slowly in the offense. He is best utilized on seam routes, over routes, and crossing routes, which were staples in the Patriots offense when Rob Gronkowski was playing for them. He’ll also likely see time on special teams as a blocker on the kick return, punt, and punt return units.
Long-term, he should project into the team’s number one or number two option at the position, depending on future investments being made. Asiasi will run the routes the Patriots typically have their tight ends run and simultaneously also serve as their top in-line blocker. He’ll need to work on his technique in the run game while also improve his ability to box out defensive backs at the catch point to be a more effect receiver, though.
How would you grade the Patriots drafting Devin Asiasi?
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