Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Michael Hoomanawanui, Matthew Mulligan and D.J. Williams were able to fill in for the injured Rob Gronkowski last year, but they weren't the dynamic receiving and blocking options the New England Patriots' offense has grown accustomed to.
Gronkowski could be healthy for Week 1, but New England would still need to add another tight end or two to complement him and Hoomanawanui.
Eric Ebron (TE, North Carolina) is probably out of reach, and Jace Amaro (TE, Texas Tech) doesn't really fit the New England mold due to his lack of route-running ability, questionable agility, finesse attitude and poor hands in traffic.
Three other tight ends fit like a glove. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE, Washington), Troy Niklas (TE, Notre Dame) and C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE, Iowa) are all capable of playing the "Y" position. They have the size, strength, agility and requisite blocking ability to excel in New England's system.
Seferian-Jenkins and Niklas will probably be off the board early on Day 2 of the 2014 NFL draft, while Fiedorowicz is likely to be selected in Round 3.