Rob Gronkowski vs. Wes Welker: Who's More Important to Patriots?

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Rob Gronkowski vs. Wes Welker: Who's More Important to Patriots?
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker are both essential parts of the New England Patriots offense in 2011.

Welker and quarterback Tom Brady have been cultivating an unbreakable bond on the gridiron since the shifty receiver joined the Pats in 2007, while Gronk has provided Brady with security as both a pass catcher and a blocker.

Both Gronk and Welker are having phenomenal years, combining for 80 catches, 1186 yards, and 11 touchdowns.

Welker has been making all the headlines, but Gronk has been every bit as reliable and dominant as No. 83 thus far. The hulking University of Arizona product is in the top five of nearly every relevant statistical category for tight ends. 

Let's take a look at Welker and Gronk's production in five key areas and decide which player is more important to Brady and the Patriots' success in 2011.

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