Following Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, one more team needs a tight end.
The Green Bay Packers are one of many teams who could potentially select a tight end early in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders are all teams who could potentially select a tight end in the opening rounds.
Gronkowski has been a huge part of the Patriots offense for many years, and they could now use an early-round pick at the tight end position.
New England owns the 32nd pick in the draft, which means Green Bay picks twice before (12th and 30th). But if one of the two Iowa tight ends is still available in the 20s, could the Patriots try to move ahead of the Packers?
Another possibility is that the Packers pass on the tight end position at No. 12, and by No. 30 both T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant are off the board. Irv Smith Jr. has been considered by many draft analysts as a second-round option for the Packers, but he might not make it past the Patriots at No. 32.
If Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst aims to select a tight end early, it might need to be with the 12th selection. From No. 18 to No. 29 there are a number of teams who could take a tight end: the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and Raiders (twice).
It’s also possible Gutekunst will be happy to wait at the position. The Packers did re-sign Marcedes Lewis, and the depth chart also features Jimmy Graham and Robert Tonyan. Gutekunst could decide to draft a tight end on Day 3.
But if the Packers have serious interest in selecting a tight end in the first round, they will have no shortage of competition.