NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah names 3 tight ends Patriots could target in 2020 NFL Draft

Ryan Hannable
February 24, 2020 - 8:44 am
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Tight end is obviously the Patriots' biggest need this offseason having not come close to replacing Rob Gronkowski and the lack of production from the position last season.

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With Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo as the only two tight ends on the roster with any experience, help is needed. And it likely will take more than just one -- ideally through free agency and the draft.

Unfortunately, the draft class is not very strong at the position and likely won't see one selected in the first round. But, there should be plenty available in Rounds 2 and 3 (New England doesn't have a second-round pick, but has three in the third round).

Speaking on a conference call last week, NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah gave three names that could good fits for the Patriots.

"I think you can make a strong case for three of them with Cole Kmet from Notre Dame a big, physical -- he's the one, if you're saying, OK, who looks like Gronk and who kind of has that physicality to them, it would be Kmet," he said. "Now he's not nearly as athletic as Gronk, but he's somebody with that big catch radius. He's tough to tackle. Big, physical and strong. He's good in the run game. He can create some movement there and help you. So he's a nice two-way tight end there. 

"And Adam Trautman, I haven't talked a lot about him today. But the kid from Dayton, he's 6-foot-5, 250 pounds. Obviously a small school. Was a high school quarterback. Switches to tight end. Now his position coach at Dayton was also a high school science teacher. This kid, he's going to just continue to get better and better. And the crazy thing is he's really polished. He knows how to set up defenders. He can separate. He's got wiggle. He wins a lot of 50/50 balls. He had a great Senior Bowl week. I thought he was outstanding there. I thought he was the best tight end down there, which it was a good group. He's somebody I think for the Patriots give you a little bit more separation and athleticism at the position. And I can make a strong case for that. 

"And Harrison Bryant from FAU, who was there at the Senior Bowl with him, talked about him earlier, but he's somebody who has got some burst and some juice. Real athletic, easy mover, better in the run game than I anticipated he would be. Not quite as heavy and not quite as big as Trautman and Kmet. But he's somebody, give him a little more athleticism in there.

"So I think any of those three guys, I think any of the three would be great players."

The Patriots tight ends were targeted just 53 times in 2019, the fewest in the NFL.

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