Training camp is less than two weeks away and we’re starting to wrap up our positional preview excerpts from this year’s season preview book. With just a few position groups to go, today we’re taking a look at the tight ends.
This is one of the few areas where there will be a significant personnel change from 2016, with Dwayne Allen being swapped in for Martellus Bennett. Bennett’s ability to ably fill in for Rob Gronkowski was one of the big factors in getting the Pats their fifth Super Bowl.
Many pundits tried to sell us that without Gronk the Pats just weren’t dynamic enough to win the big one, but Bennett helped prove that theory wrong.
If Gronk plays the entire season it won’t really matter all that much how well Allen assimilates, but Belichick has had high praise for the former Colt so it will be interesting to see his role in the offense, which I expect to be a versatile one.
There could also be a roster spot to be had by a third tight end, a job that would have to be won in training camp. Draft weekend trade acquisition James O’Shaughnessy could be a favorite along with Matt Lengel, who was acquired and played some snaps after Gronk was lost in 2016.
Let’s take a closer look at the tight ends.