New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski lands at No. 23 in NFL Top 100

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Another New England Patriots player has landed on the NFL Top 100, with Rob Gronkowski coming in at No. 23, down from No. 9 last season.

Rob Gronkowski, the star New England Patriots tight end, has slipped according to the NFL Top 100. Gronk came in at No. 23 overall, after being No. 9 prior to last season.

Of course, this fall is mostly due to injuries. Gronkowski didn’t play as much as we all would have liked and he missed the Patriots Super Bowl LI run.

Gronk joins some of his teammates on the list, and there will certainly be more to come. So far Malcolm Butler (99), Dont’a Hightower (94), and Julian Edelman (71) have made the Top 100 cut. At least Tom Brady will make the list, and perhaps Stephon Gilmore or Brandin Cooks as well. We probably all agree that TB12 should be No. 1, but he’s got to at least come in the top 3.

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In 2016, Gronkowski appeared in just 8 games, his lowest total since 7 in 2013. He caught 25 passes and recorded 3 touchdowns. Gronk was a fan of big plays though when he was out there, as he averaged 21.6 yards per reception, the highest of his career.

In 2017, Rob Gronkowski will aim to return to his level of play from 2014 and 2015 where he had 12 and 11 touchdowns. Anything over 10 touchdowns from Gronk would be huge, as the Patriots have plenty of other weapons to help do some damage. He’ll still draw a ton of defensive attention, so even without catches, he will help his teammates get open.

It’s nice to note that Gronk still ranked ahead of wannabe Gronk, Travis Kelce. Kelce came in at No. 26 on the list, but he actually played in all 16 games last season. Even when he plays half as many games, Gronk is still the best tight end in the NFL. Kelce, who the Patriots will face in the week one opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, had just 4 touchdowns in 2016.

I definitely expect Gronk to climb back up this list for next season, probably up into the top 10. A healthy Gronk is unstoppable, so let’s hope we have him for a deep Super Bowl run.

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