Rob Gronkowski Draft: How New England Patriots Battled with the Raiders to Land ‘The Gronk’

Published 02/06/2021, 10:57 AM EST
Rob ‘The Gronk’ Gronkowski


Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Rob Gronkowski is undoubtedly one of the best tight ends in the NFL from the last decade. He is often regarded as the player who totally transformed the tight end position in the league. Rob Gronkowski formed a stellar partnership with Tom Brady while the pair played for New England Patriots.

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Under the tutelage of Bill Belichick, Gronkowski went on to win three Super Bowl rings while setting numerous records. He was the first tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns (17 in 2011). But all this could have been very different for the now 31-year old NFL superstar if the Patriots hadn’t drafted ‘The Gronk’ in 2010.

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Rob Gronkowski NFL Records

Here’s a list of NFL records set by Rob Gronkowski during his time with the Patriots between 2010-2018.

  • First tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns (2011)
  • Most touchdown receptions by a tight end, season: 17 (2011)
  • Most total touchdowns by a tight end, season: 18 (2011)
  • Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a game: 21 years, 184 days (2010, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Most receptions by a tight end in Super Bowl history: 23
  • Most receiving yards by a tight end in Super Bowl history: 297
  • Most career postseason receiving touchdowns by a tight end: 12
  • First tight end with 1,000+ career postseason receiving yards
  • Most career postseason receiving yards by a tight end: 1,163
  • Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a game, playoffs: 22 years, 275 days (2011 playoffs, vs. Denver Broncos)
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Rob Gronkowski arrived in the NFL at the start of the last decade. The 6 ft 6-inch tight end played college football for the Arizona Wildcats between 2007-08. He was a revelation during his time in Tucson, Arizona. Despite spending just two years with the Wildcats, Gronkowski established himself as one of the hottest college football prospects. At the culmination of his freshman year, he averaged 18.8 yards per reception.

He finished his college career with 1,197 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns on 75 receptions. However, he failed to play for the Wildcats in his junior year due to an injury. Experts suggest that is the reason why he wasn’t drafted in the first round. New England Patriots brokered a draft-day trade deal with Oakland Raiders in order to select Gronkowski in the second round (42nd overall pick).

Gronkowski leads the Patriots to three Super Bowl wins

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Gronkowski was the highest drafted tight end out of Arizona. The previous record was held by Brandon Manumaleuna in 2001. But He signed a four-year contract in 2010. His rookie deal was worth $4.4 million, including a $1.76 million signing bonus.

“So Rob Gronkowski, certainly an interesting player. Excellent size, very well thought of down there by Coach [Mike] Stoops and his staff. I think as we saw there, in New York, he’s kind of a fun-loving guy who enjoys having a good time, but he plays like that, too. He plays with a good attitude. He’s aggressive,” Belichick said back in 2010.

Gronkowski went on to help the Patriots win three Super Bowl titles, forming a strong partnership with Brady. Prior to his shock retirement in 2018, Gronk had 7861 receiving yards and 79 receiving TDs for New England. He can add to his Championship tally this weekend if the Buccaneers manage to outplay Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs.

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Daniel Arambur

1594 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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