The New England Patriots’ tight end issues have been thoroughly covered this offseason. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski is recovering from multiple offseason surgeries on his back and forearm and is currently on the active/PUP list. Aaron Hernandez was released by the team after being implicated (and later charged) in the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Though the Pats have Daniel Fells, Michael Hoomanawanui, and Jake Ballard competing at tight end, it looks like Sudfeld is pulling away from the group.
Sudfeld, an undrafted free agent out of Nevada, caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Mallett in the second quarter of Friday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He caught the pass in traffic and juggled the ball because there were two defenders around him. He also caught a 2-point conversion from Tom Brady to cap the offense’s dominant opening drive.
As if Sudfeld’s strong game on Friday wasn’t enough, reports have said he has been working mostly with the Patriots’ first-team offense in practice. The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin said it was hard not to write about Sudfeld every day because of what the tight end has been doing.
Sudfeld caught 45 passes for 698 yards and two touchdowns last season at Nevada. He was injured for most of his college career.
With Gronk looking like he might miss the beginning of the season, Sudfeld could be in for a lot of action and red-zone looks. If he continues to impress, he’ll likely stick and continue to see action a la Hernandez even when Gronk returns.
Photo: Twitter/Zach SudfeldGoogle+