How Patriots Could Fill Tight End Need In Each Round Of 2020 NFL Draft


April 9, 2020

Leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft, we’ll find fits at every position and in every round for the New England Patriots. Next, we’ll take a deep dive on tight ends.

The New England Patriots haven’t drafted a tight end earlier than the fifth round since 2010. That streak should end this spring.

If it doesn’t, Patriots fans might just collectively move to Tampa and become Tom Brady supporters. New England has Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo on its tight end depth chart. LaCosse and Izzo combined to catch just 29 passes for 245 yards with two touchdowns last season.

The Patriots should look to potentially double up at tight end in the 2020 NFL Draft. They also could still deal a draft pick for a tight end.

These are New England’s top options at tight end in the draft:

FIRST ROUND: Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Kmet is not a first-round prospect, but he is regarded as the best tight end in the class. So, we’re kind of cheating by including him here.

The Notre Dame product was the heaviest tight end at the NFL Scouting Combine at 6-foot-6, 262 pounds, and he ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash. Pro Football Focus didn’t grade him well as a blocker, but he has the size to learn.

SECOND ROUND: Adam Trautman, Dayton
Trautman has the best combination of blocking and catching ability among tight ends. His FCS pedigree could drag him down draft boards in the second or third round.

He ran an impressive 6.78-second 3-cone drill at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds.

More Patriots: Best Tight End Athletic Fits In 2020 NFL Draft

THIRD ROUND: Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
Okwuegbunam is one of nine tight ends to run a sub-4.5 second 40-yard dash at the combine since 2000, and he’s the heaviest of all of those players at 258 pounds.

Evan Engram, Jared Cook and Vernon Davis also ran their 40s in under 4.5 seconds.

Okwuegbunam, like Kmet, isn’t much of a blocker, but he’s big enough to get in the way.

Asiasi is another plyer with a combination of blocking and receiving skills. He’s 6-foot-3, 257 pounds and caught 44 passes for 641 yards with four touchdowns in 2019. He ran a serviceable 4.73-second 40-yard dash.

FIFTH ROUND: Thaddeus Moss, LSU
Moss, Randy’s son, didn’t test at the combine. He likes blocking more than receiving but still caught 47 passes for 570 yards with four scores in 2019.

SIXTH ROUND: Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech
Keene didn’t produce much with the Hokies, but stood out at the Combine with a 4.71-second 40-yard dash, 7.07-second 3-cone drill, 4.19-second short shuttle, 34-inch vertical leap and 10-feet, 5-inch broad jump at 6-foot-4, 253 pounds.

He’s a willing blocker and offers versatility.

SEVENTH ROUND: Jacob Breeland, Oregon
Breeland tore his ACL last season, so he didn’t test. He measured in at 6-foot-5, 252 pounds at the combine. He was on pace for a breakout 2019 season with 26 catches for 405 yards with six touchdowns in just six games.

More Patriots positional previews: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, offensive tackle, interior offensive line, edge defender

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Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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