The New England Patriots raised some eyebrows when they traded up in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft to snag a tight end, then grabbed another tight end 10 picks later.
But according to a pair of NFL executives, Bill Belichick's selection of Devin Asiasi at No. 91 overall could pay major dividends.
Mike Sando of The Athletic shared a story about what NFL execs are saying about each team's 2020 draft, and Asiasi was the hot topic when it came to the Patriots.
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“Oh, I love him. I think they hit a grand slam, but he fell to them for a reason. He was suspended. The character is concerning," one executive said, referencing Asiasi's three-game suspension in 2018 for a violation of team rules.
"But he is better in and out of his breaks than (second-round pick Cole) Kmet and a better blocker right now. He is a more vertical, wider-angle cut receiver.”
Another NFL executive even went as far as to compare Asiasi to former Patriots tight end and future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski.
“No one is Gronk,” the exec said, “but if you are going to find a replacement for him, you are going to get a guy who weighs 270 pounds, who can block, who can high-point the ball. He is a good player, a really good player.”
A Gronk comparison before ever playing a down of NFL football. No pressure, kid.
Asiasi caught 44 passes for 641 yards and four touchdowns with UCLA last year. Dalton Keene, the other TE taken by the Pats, had 21 receptions for 240 yards and five touchdowns for Virginia Tech.
The Patriots now have four tight ends on the depth chart with Asiasi and Keene joining Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo.