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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Glenn Gronkowski, Fullback, Kansas State

NFL Draft Scouting Report: Glenn Gronkowski, Fullback, Kansas State

Glenn Gronkowski, FB, Kansas State University

Position: Fullback

Height: 6’2”
Weight: 239 lbs
Year: Junior
Hometown: Amherst, NY
Experience: 2 Year Starter

Measurables:

40yd dash: 4.71
Broad jump: NA
Vertical: 33 inches
3-cone: 7.10
20yd. Shuttle: 4.45
Bench Press: 17 reps

Career Notes:

Before Glenn Gronkowski even sets foot in his next team’s locker room, his last name has become one of the most well known in the entire National Football League. He has been constantly compared to his older brother, and to a certain extent, those comparisons are founded. Glenn Gronkowski displays the same passion for the game, as well as some of the same strength and athletic ability, as does his older brother Rob.

Gronkowski served primarily as a run-blocker for Kansas State University, although he came into the NCAA as a receiver prospect. He was asked to block in a variety of situations for the Wildcats, including lead-blocking on inside runs, sealing defensive ends, being part of QB run-pass options and pass-blocking on dropback pass plays. He occasionally ran routes and caught a few passes, but was never a featured part of the passing game.

The younger Gronkowski brother performed well enough at Kansas State that he decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the draft. He is one of the more highly rated fullback prospects, and Kansas State’s success on the ground behind a Gronkowski-led blocking unit demonstrates that he is ready to play at the next level.

 

Injury Report: NA

Career Stats: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/glenn-gronkowski-1.html

 

Analysis

Run Blocking: 3.8/5

Gronkowski will be able to make a living as a run blocker based on his sheer strength and determination. Once he makes contact with a defender, he possesses the lower body strength and leg drive to bulldoze linebackers and defensive backs out of the way. He also can throw his body into hits and delivers a strong “pop” to knock a defender back on contact, but not on a consistent basis. He usually, but not always, plays with a low pad level, but when he does not, he struggles to generate any power. He demonstrated the athleticism to track targets in space on the second level, but this too was inconsistent, as he occasionally whiffed on defenders coming downhill on inside runs or off the edge on outside runs to the playside. When caught up on trash on inside runs, Gronkowski would look for a totally unblocked man as opposed to helping seal a defender who was already being blocked. This often resulted in holes closing too quickly for the runningback to burst through.

Pass Blocking: 3.5/5

While Gronkowski possesses the strength to drive defenders backwards while run blocking, his upper body strength does not seem to compare to his lower body strength. When in his pass set, he is susceptible to sheer power from defenders. On one notable occasion, he was responsible for setting the edge and washing the OLB out of the play on a QB draw. The OLB, who at 215 pounds weighed 25 pounds less than Gronkowski, successfully bull-rushed the fullback back into the QB and made the tackle for loss. Despite the lack of consistent strength, Gronkowski keeps his feet moving and is agile enough to run the arc or pick up blitzers. Showed good awareness to pick up blitzers from different areas. He was more frequently asked to block edge defenders than interior blitzers, and also showed the ability to effectively chip block interior defensive linemen.

As a Runner: 3.8/5

Gronkowski was rarely featured as a runner, but when he was, he demonstrated good footwork, vision and acceleration, almost like a big runningback. Unfortunately, in the rare instance where he was used as a short yardage back, he was not able to consistently run behind his pads and get two or three tough yards, instead getting slowed or stopped on first contact.

As a Receiver: 4.2/5

Gronkowski was used in a variety of ways as a receiver, running routes from the backfield, from the in-line TE position, and even split out as a slot receiver. Most of the routes he was asked to run were fairly simple, but he did show the ability to track the ball in the air and make catches reliably down the field. He can be an effective receiver out of the backfield at the next level, especially near the goal line in play action situations.

Summary: 

Gronkowski possesses the body type to play any of the three blocking positions (TE, H-back or FB) at the next level. He will need to gain strength and size to be able to move NFL defenders, especially linebackers and defensive ends. However, his athleticism, high motor and current strength level are all good signs of things to come, and since he also played on special teams, he can expect to be drafted or at the very least make a roster or practice squad. After playing mostly special teams his rookie season, and after an offseason in an NFL weight room, he should be able to take over a team’s lead-blocking duties going into his second year in the league.

Overall Grade: 3.9/5

 

If drafted by the Packers:

Due to the Packers’ relative wealth at the fullback position, it is unlikely that we will see Gronkowski in green and gold. However, should the Packers draft him, it would allow him to sit on the bench on the practice squad for his first season and continue to learn the finer points of blocking and receiving, which will allow him to fully realize his athletic potential. It would also allow the Packers to keep Kuhn for the 2016 season and then give the lead-blocking reins to Gronkowski in 2017.

 

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