Who'll Be the 'Next Gronk' Discovered at the 2019 NFL Combine?
Posted by: Gronkowski
While some of us are still recovering from the Super Bowl LIII celebrations, the first teaser for the 2019 season is here – the NFL Combine, and many veteran players say the Combine is the toughest challenge they ever had to do in the career.
Not only are they tested on every possible skill they might need on the field – the infamous 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, 3-cone drill, shuttle run and the dreaded gauntlet drill – they’re also quizzed mentally. Bizarre questions asked of college kids who aspire to be NFL players include “Do you find your mother attractive?” “What’s your murder weapon of choice?” “Would you rather be a cat or dog?” “Where are you sitting on a bus speeding on a mountain?” ... that last one is actually useful at least.
As they covered the QB and WR drills live from Indianapolis on Saturday, ESPN analysts who are former players described the four-day Combine as close to hell as they’ve ever been. You don’t sleep, you’re measured and weighed, poked and prodded, you’re under the microscope every minute of the day, and at the end of it, you’re expected to perform your best against guys who are your biggest competition.
While all eyes this year were on the measurement tape to see how tall Kyler Murray really is, Iowa tight end Noah Fant is being hailed as the “next Gronk” after blazing an official 4.50-second 40-yard dash at 249 pounds. Having played as No. 87 for the Hawkeyes, Fant is also a dominating 6-foot-five and 241 lbs.
So how did the real Gronk do at his Combine back in 2010? Rob didn’t compete in all the activities because of having back surgery during his last year in college, but he nails the ones he did.
First off, the big kid out of Arizona was measured at 6-foot-6 ¼, 258 lbs., with an arm length of 34 ¼ inches and massive 10 ¾ inch hands.
A baby-faced Rob told reporters at the time that he was “ready to go,” before running drills like a stick route with NFL Network analyst Brian Billick. Yep, even back then he was the star of the show as Billick marveled over his huge arm span. We’re sure Coach Belichick liked that.
Check out Gronk’s official NFL Combine profile:
Gronkowski made an immediate impact when he arrived at the University of Arizona and has been a standout tight end when he has been healthy enough to stay on the field. Unfortunately he has missed a total of 16 games over the past two years due to injuries or illness. He has an elite combination of size, speed and athleticism for the position and while he lacks great downfield speed he can be an effective receiver at virtually all levels of the passing tree. He is a tough, no nonsense type of blocker but still needs some work on his blocking techniques. If he can stay healthy he could provide a team with a quality starting tight end.
Gronkowski has prototypical size and good speed. Shows fluid hips and runs precise routes. Possesses the lateral quickness and burst to get open in man coverage. Catches the ball away from his chest and displays good body control. Effective blocker that can generate a push. Very productive in his two seasons in the Pac-10.
Durability concerns since he missed the entire 2009 season after back surgery and missed three games in 2008. Does not have a great top-end speed and may not be able to stretch the field at the next level. Lacks the elusiveness to make people miss after catch.
If you see how NOT to do Combine drills, watch poor ESPN host Jason Fitz get humiliated by the "Golic and Wingo" show. Obviously Fitz didn't play in the NFL, but he did play violin at Juilliard.
Before you go...