We all know the name. Across the NFL opponents scramble to find ways to shut down the powerful "Gronk" week after week. A name synonymous with football and with hard work, Glenn Gronkowski has plenty of experience with both of those things. As the last of his famous band of brothers, Glenn Gronkowski shows the rigor and the skill set to flourish in the NFL. Projections and scouting reports aside, this is what you need to know about the fullback.
Without a doubt, Gronkowski’s natural athleticism was able to shine through at Kansas State. Throughout his time under Bill Snyder, Gronkowski was able to run, catch and throw for a touchdown at K-State. While there are few other players that have done the same, Gronkowski’s ability to make plays will be what separates him from the rest of the fullbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft. According to draft experts across the board, Gronkowski’s speed and blocking ability will put him at the top of the fullbacks available.
"Glenn Gronkowski has the speed of a running back, catches like a wid
e receiver, blocks like a tight end, and has the ideal hand size that you look for in a 6-3 234 lb fullback." -DraftUtopia.com on Glenn Gronkowski prior to 2015
With draft expert Mel Kiper stating this is one of the best years as of late for the fullback position, Gronkowski could go as early as the third or fourth rounds with the right team. Since Gronkowski was mostly utilized for blocking, he has been working on the other aspects of playing fullback. Not only can Gronkowski block, his presence at the Senior Bowl was highly touted after his 34-yard reception late in the 3rd quarter and a victory by his team representing the South squad.
In modern day NFL play not every team uses a fullback, most use a tight end or a running back in place. While Glenn Gronkowski is no stranger to what it takes to be a legendary tight end, the position of fullback is very suiting for his obvious talents. Even though his stats at Kansas State weren’t alarming or off the charts, fans that watched Gronkowski in action knew his value to the team was very high. Kansas State fans that also cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs might recognize the impact the fullback Anthony Sherman has on the offense. The similarities in physical style for Gronkowski and Sherman are noticeable and the way Kansas City utilizes Sherman would transition just as well for Gronkowski. While Sherman isn’t racking up impressive stats, just ask the guys he blocks for and they will tell you just how important he is to their offense.
Across the board, Gronkowski’s projections for the 2016 NFL Draft vary from 3rd round to Undrafted Free Agent. While some look at his famous last name and assume he will be the next great tight end, there is going to be a great need for him in a multi-faceted position as fullback and the team that snatches him up will be gaining an incredibly hard working and talented young man. Interestingly enough, the New England Patriots could have two Gronkowskis on the roster. Their starting fullback, James Develin, coming off a broken leg and signing an one year contract as recently as March 7th. Could the world handle two Gronkowskis on the same team?
We might just find out.
Tune into the NFL Draft on April 28th, 8 P.M. ET on ESPN for the first round!