As a Fansided site we are participating in an ongoing 2014 NFL Mock Draft with some of the Local and NFL sites of Fansided. You can follow the ongoing draft here (http://factoryofsadness.co) to see all of the picks leading to our selection below. Follow along as we complete all 32 teams First Round Picks.
With the 29th pick in the 2014 NFL Mock Draft the New England Patriots select Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech.
With the offseason loss of Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker departing for Denver, and Rob Gronkowski going down to injury once again, the Patriots offense was exposed as a group that lacked the weapons needed to win when it mattered the most. With New England’s window of opportunity closing, they must rebuild an arsenal of aerial targets around Tom Brady if they hope to once again reclaim the ever-elusive Vince Lombardi trophy.
Gronkowski will likely start the season on the sideline after suffering a major knee injury this past season. Therefore the Patriots must address the lack of depth at the tight end position. New England was missing a substantial downfield target for the majority of the 2013 season. And with Julien Edelman scheduled to become a free agent, it’s unclear as to what the Patriots offense will look like.
Amaro would give the Patriots a legitimate threat at the tight end spot. Playing mostly in the slot at Texas Tech, he’ll offer the Patriots a target similar to what Hernandez once gave Brady. At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, Amaro would create a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Registering 106 catches for 1,352 yards and hauling in seven touchdowns this past season, Amaro could realistically hold things down until Gronkowski regains full health. As a duo, Amaro and Gronkowski could recreate the once prolific two tight end offense that Patriots utilized so well in past years.
Amaro can certainly outrun opposing linebackers and is much too large in stature for defensive backs to effectively guard him. He’ll develop far more quickly with Brady throwing him the football as well. Though his blocking needs work as he spent limited time in the trenches at Texas Tech because they ran the spread offense.
Eric Ebron from the University of North Carolina will likely be the first tight end selected, but Amaro should be available when the Patriots are on the clock.
Below is a highlight reel of Amaro at Texas Tech: