With the 2019 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror and the dust starting to settle, 1 position that the Patriots did not address was the tight finish position. With a Rob Gronkowski-sized hole at the top rated of the depth chart soon after the future Hall of Famer announced his retirement, New England has a lot of production to replace at the position.
Adding man Austin Seferian-Jenkins on a 1-year deal for the veteran minimum was a good signing that really should bring very good worth to the group if he can remain wholesome. The former University of Washington item had a sturdy year in 2017 with the Jets, catching 50 balls for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns, but had a down year this previous season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing in just 5 games due to a core muscle injury.
The alternatives soon after Seferian-Jenkins are…not terrific. New England is leaving itself open to a considerable quantity of danger if Seferian-Jenkins, a player who has a considerable injury history, gets hurt once more. To not draft a young tight finish or sign yet another pass-catching tight finish to add to the depth at the position is puzzling.
Just after Seferian-Jenkins, the tight finish depth chart consists of Matt LaCosse (signed to a 1-year free of charge agency deal), Jacob Hollister, Stephen Anderson, and Ryan Izzo. Texas tight finish Andrew Beck has also been rumored to have signed an UDFA deal with New England so let’s add him to the list also.
LaCosse is a fringe player who had 24 receptions for 250 yards and 1 touchdown final year with the Denver Broncos in what was regarded as to be the very best season of his young profession. Maybe he continues that momentum this season and develops into far more of a threat in the passing game. But that is wishful considering proper now: he really should be concerned about just generating the roster proper now.
Hollister has shown flashes at instances, but has struggled mightily to remain wholesome therefore far, only appearing in eight games final season due to a hamstring injury. He caught just 4 passes for 52 yards total.
Anderson was the tight finish that was promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad to replace Hollister, and is an unknown at this point. Thought of to be a “move” tight finish like Hollister, Anderson didn’t get activated to the 46-man game day roster till the divisional round matchup in the playoffs against the Los Angeles Chargers. He will undoubtedly have a opportunity to impress the coaching employees in instruction camp.
Izzo, a rookie final year, was placed on Injured Reserve at the finish of instruction camp, but turned some heads prior to that with his blocking capability. There is some hope that he could replace the blocking of Dwayne Allen, at a substantially decrease price tag tag.
Even if Seferian-Jenkins stays wholesome all season extended, there is not substantially there in the way of offensive production with this group general. And however, it does not appear like reinforcements are coming anytime quickly, soon after the group passed on the opportunity to take a tight finish in a draft that was regarded as to have a sturdy tight finish class this year.
So exactly where do the Patriots go from right here? Do they make a move for an readily available veteran tight finish on yet another group, such as Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings? Or do they go into the 2019 season with this existing motley crew and hope that a specific somebody decides to come out of retirement mid-season? That is unclear proper now, but the existing state of the tight finish depth chart for the Patriots suggests there is nevertheless 1 or two far more moves to be created right here to really feel confident about this group heading into the frequent season.