Rob Gronkowski is probably the most dominant TE of the superior statistics period

It has at all times been tough to quantify Rob Gronkowski’s greatness. One of the best ways may really be a spotlight reel with bowling-ball runsdiving or one-handed catches and rush-stopping blocks.

Each spotlight has a loopy story with excessive stakes. Consider his postseason catch towards double protection on the fourth down within the fourth quarter towards the Broncos when Gronk nabbed an over-the-shoulder bomb from then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Consider his fourth-quarter two-point conversion towards the Steelers that got here after Gronk was utterly unstoppable, serving because the sparkplug, engine and gas in a comeback for New England. Consider his 29-yard catch in Tremendous Bowl LIII when his reception arrange his group for a 1-yard rating, the one landing of the complete recreation. And that is not even including within the context of accidents, of which Gronk endured many.

We overuse the phrase “constructed otherwise” in soccer. However Gronk is. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight finish was too huge for safeties to cowl and too quick for linebackers to cowl – and due to this fact he turned the queen on Invoice Belichick’s chessboard. Gronk was extra of the identical in Tampa for coach Bruce Arians.

For individuals who watched Gronk carefully, his rating as probably the most dominant tight finish of the superior statistics period ought to come as no shock. He’s the highest-graded tight finish in Professional Soccer Focus historical past. Per Subsequent Gen Stats, “No tight finish within the Subsequent Gen Stats period has generated extra [expected] factors when focused as a receiver in a single-season ”than in 2017.

“Rob was a significant cause why we gained video games and championships,” Belichick mentioned in 2019 after Gronk’s first retirement. “Rob’s affect on our group and group was felt in some ways. Within the final group sport, Rob was an ideal, nice teammate. His manufacturing spoke for itself, however his each day perspective, unmistakably constructive vitality wherever he went and towards whoever he touched won’t ever be forgotten.

“Rob will go away an indelible mark on the Patriots group and the sport as among the many greatest, most full gamers at his place to ever play.”

There is a case for Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez to earn the title as the best tight finish of all time. And the stats make it simpler to argue for both of them than Gronk. However the stats do not present all the pieces. And Gronk’s type of play restricted his skill to play deeper in his profession. Whenever you watch Gronk’s spotlight reels, that is once you see his case as the very best. That is once you understand he is within the dialog with Gates, Gonzelez and each different elite tight finish to play the sport.

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