The Patriots never really filled the void left behind by Rob Gronkowski’s retirement last offseason. But by the time the draft rolls around in April, they’ll have an opportunity to replace one Hall of Famer with the son of another.
Fresh off two touchdowns for LSU in the National Championship Game earlier this week, tight end Thaddeus Moss — Randy’s son — has declared for the NFL Draft.
“I have loved being a part of something as legendary as this 2019-2020 football team,” Moss said in a statement. “I believe that God is presenting me with an alternative path.”
Moss, a junior, caught 47 passes for 570 yards and four touchdowns this season. He scored three times — catching nine passes for 135 yards — in the LSU’s semifinal and final games en route to a national title.
The Patriots have two tight ends under contract for 2020, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo, and addressing the position figures to be one of the team’s priorities this offseason.
Moss, 6-foot-3, 249 pounds, isn’t considered one of the top options at the position in this year’s draft class, but that could change as the pre-draft process plays out. He only has two seasons of college football under his belt, having played sparingly at North Carolina State in 2016. Transferring to LSU the following year, he had to sit out due to NCAA rules. He was then red-shirted by the Tigers, making the 2019 action he saw his first in three years.
The Patriots might have some more in-depth scouting information on Moss than other teams as his father played for Bill Belichick from 2007-10. Moss was traded in the middle of the 2010 season, but he and Belichick seem to have maintained a good relationship given their interactions when they appeared together on-set for the NFL Network’s All-Time Team special that aired this season. Belichick has called Moss one of the smartest players he’s ever coached.
Experts have pegged Notre Dame underclassman Cole Kmet, who recently announced he was going pro, as the draft’s top tight end and a first-round possibility for New England.