Patriots

Travis Kelce breaks one of Rob Gronkowski's NFL tight end records

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Travis Kelce breaks one of Rob Gronkowski's NFL tight end records

Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots secured a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs on Sunday, but elsewhere in the NFL, one of the veteran tight end's records fell.

Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce hauled in a 25-yard pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the third quarter of their Week 17 game against the Oakland Raiders, and it gave the KC tight end 1,336 receiving yards for the 2018 season.

That's a new single-season receiving yards record for a tight end, breaking Gronkowski's previous mark of 1,327 set in 2011. Gronkowski also finished the 2011 season with 17 receiving touchdowns.

Kelce's milestone wasn't the only notable accomplishment for Chiefs players in Week 17:

If the Chiefs beat the Raiders -- they're winning 35-7 as of this writing -- they'll clinch the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. 

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Julian Edelman recruits Zion Williamson to be new Patriots tight end

Julian Edelman recruits Zion Williamson to be new Patriots tight end

Zion Williamson in all likelihood will be the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but Julian Edelman still made his best pitch for the Duke standout to join the Patriots instead.

Edelman tweeted out a photoshopped image of Williamson holding up a Patriots jersey with Robert and Jonathan Kraft, and he let the 6-foot-10 18-year-old know about the Pats' open tight end position.

Edelman isn't the only Patriot recruiting athletes from other sports to take Rob Gronkowski's place at tight end. Tom Brady did the same Tuesday night with Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

As for how the Patriots are realistically filling Gronk's void, they signed both Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse in free agency. They also could look to add more depth at the position via the NFL Draft, which begins on Thursday.

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Patriots seven-round mock draft 6.0, according to the fans

Patriots seven-round mock draft 6.0, according to the fans

254 picks, in seven rounds, over three days.

The annual feeding frenzy known as the NFL Draft is about to begin, and from Kyler Murray to Mr. Irrelevant, all 32 teams are about to change the course of the future of their franchise.

The Patriots enter the draft with a league-high 12 selections, including six in the first three rounds. Whether those picks are actually used or traded remains to be seen, but there will definitely be a handful of new Patriots in the next few days.

Between mock drafts and his Prototypical Patriots series, NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry has acquainted fans with some of the best prospects available — and some under-the-radar players who would be perfect fits in Foxboro.

So for his final Patriots-specific seven-round mock draft, Phil turned it over to the fans. Who would they like to see as the newest Bill Belichick disciples?

Click here for our final Patriots-specific seven-round mock before the 2019 NFL Draft.>>>>

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