Rob Gronkowski an 'old-school tight end in a modern game'

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It has been seven years since a tight end was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, when Shannon Sharpe’s greatness as a prolific pass-catcher was recognized, but the position should once again be front and center in 2019 in Tony Gonzalez’s first year of eligibility.

With the most receptions (1,325) and receiving yards (15,127), along with an NFL-record-tying 14 Pro Bowl berths over his 17 seasons, Gonzalez is always in the discussion among the best ever at the position.

Here’s a sidebar question to add to the discussion as fantasy football teams are being formed and the No. 1 tight end on the board isn’t in much question: Where does the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski, entering his ninth season, stack up at this stage of his career?cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“It’s all relative, it’s very subjective,” said Bavaro, who referred to Gronkowski as an “old-school tight end playing in a modern game that really isn’t asking for his specifications.”

Bavaro used to put the recently retired and current ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Witten in a similar category during his prime years, but he also wanted to make clear he wasn’t engaging in any debate.

“I’m not saying [anyone] is the best of all time, I’m not even coming close to that, because I don’t think you can say that about anybody -- at any position,” he said. “I don’t know how you measure it. If you can get an exact science to measure it, then I would accept the findings. But there isn’t any right now and I don’t think there ever will be.”3

“I think everything about him is what you’re looking for in a player, in a teammate. Plays well in the biggest moments,” quarterback Tom Brady said when asked what he’d highlight about Gronkowski’s body of work. “I’ve watched him develop from when he first got here to now and seen a lot of growth.”

From a pass-catching perspective, Gronkowski’s statistics through eight seasons align favorably with Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jason Witten over that same span.

Furthermore, there are eight tight ends in the Hall of Fame -- Mike Ditka (1988), John Mackey (1992), Jackie Smith (1994), Kellen Winslow (1995), Ozzie Newsome (1999), Dave Casper (2002), Charlie Sanders (2007) and Sharpe -- and Gronkowski currently ranks No. 1 in receiving yards per game (70.4) at the nfl jerseys china nike

Depending on how much longer he plays, Gronkowski could threaten Gates’ record for most career touchdown receptions by a tight end (114), as he enters the 2018 season with 76. He also could break a three-way tie with Gonzalez and Witten to become the first tight end in NFL history to have five seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.

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