The arrival of Cam Newton as the New England Patriots quarterback should help drive the production of rookie tight end Devin Asiasi.
What will Cam Newton bring to the New England Patriots offense?
Given the former NFL MVP wins the job, as he is expected to do if he is healthy, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will undoubtedly restructure the offensive game plan to fit his strengths.
Part of that will be re-establishing the importance of the tight end position. That is where 2019 third-round pick Devin Asiasi should benefit from the addition of Newton. According to former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins during an appearance on the Greg Hill Show, the UCLA product will have a greater year statistically than Rob Gronkowski will have with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.
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While that is a lot of pressure to put on a rookie before he has even played his first NFL snap, Wiggins does back up his prediction by combining Cam Newton’s past reliance on the tight end position in the pass game, particularly Greg Olson, with the skill-set of Devin Asiasi and what he can bring to the New England Patriots offense.
“It’s not that he has Greg Olson’s skills, but working with Cam and looking at his skill-set in the way they utilized him at UCLA where they lined him up all over the place, they split him out wide,” Wiggins said, as transcribed by WEEI. “You can maybe see some good matchup opportunities. And Cam knowing he’s going to come in — we already know Cam’s favorite receiver is the tight end — he could be getting this kid the football a lot.”
Coming off a season in which he recorded a career-high 44 catches for 641 yards, it is a pretty far reach that Asiasi would come even close to the “80-plus catches” Wiggins predicts, but he could be more of a factor in the offense than initially expected if it was Jarrett Stidham under center.
As far as having a better year statistically than Rob Gronkowski who will be catching the ball from Tom Brady. Well, that actually is plausible given the surplus of playmakers Tampa Bay has, including two other pass-catching tight ends in Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard.
Theoretically, there will be less emphasis on Gronk to produce down in Tampa and more of an opportunity for Devin Asiasi to emerge in a Patriots offense devoid of talent, at least at this point in the offseason.
Of course, a lot of this is assuming Cam Newton is the Cam Newton he was in 2015 versus the broken down quarterback he was with the Carolina Panthers the last couple seasons. It is also assuming he is a lock for the starting quarterback position.
If indeed it is the former NFL MVP, the young New England Patriots tight end could have himself quite a rookie season given how Newton loves big tight end targets.