The Buffalo Bills signed a hometown native in Glenn Gronkowski as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 NFL Draft. While most people will just recognize his last name, Glenn and Rob couldn’t be more different, according to most reports. The 6’2” and 240-pound fullback/H-Back/tight end declared for the draft after earning his degree from Kansas State in three years and being named First Team All-Big-12 in 2014 and Second-Team All-Big-12 in 2015.
Glenn Gronkowski Athleticism/Versatility
Gronkowski doesn’t have the physically imposing stature of his brother, but he’s a versatile player and a good athlete, running a 4.68-second 40-yard dash, a 7.10-second three cone, a 4.45-second short shuttle, while posting a 33” vertical leap, a 10’0” broad jump and putting up 17 bench press reps of 225 pounds.
Glenn Gronkowski only had 39 touches in his career at Kansas State, catching 15 passes for 369 yards and five touchdowns and adding another 55 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Gronkowski was utilized in a variety of ways due to his athletic ability, lining up as a traditional fullback, as an H-Back, attached to the line of scrimmage as a “Y” tight end, flexed out into the slot and even offset from the line as a wing.
He had various blocking responsibilities, serving as a lead blocker on inside runs, sealing out defensive ends or force defenders on outside runs and even stayed home in pass protection on occasion.
While he only caught 15 passes in his collegiate career, Glenn Gronkowski showed smooth footwork and running ability with the speed and fluidity to run a variety of routes. He’s got got footwork and gets in and out of breaks quickly, as you can see in the following play in which he runs a quick out route from the H-Back position to score a touchdown.
Of Glenn Gronkowski’s 15 receptions, six of them gained 25 or more yards, so even though he has a small sample size to evaluate, the production is there and his athletic ability is clear when you watch him on the field.
As a ball-carrier, Gronkowski shows good burst and acceleration to go along with patience and vision that allows him to set up blocks and provide value in short-yardage situations.
Glenn Gronkowski Provides Value on and off the Field
The Bills signed fullback Jerome Felton to a four-year, $12 million deal last offseason that has three years and $7.45 million remaining on it, so releasing him would result in a $1.95 million dead money charge. But, if the Bills see enough out of Gronkowski throughout training camp, they could release Felton with a Post-June 1st designation which would save the team $1.65 million and only carry a $650k dead money charge.
Furthermore, Glenn Gronkowski’s versatility to play not only fullback, but H-Back and some tight end as well also makes him more valuable as he could potentially free up Felton’s roster spot as well as a player like Chris Gragg, who’s in the final year of his deal and would have $675k in 2016 salary cap space.
Glenn Gronkowski is a solid all-around player and if he has a productive offseason of workouts and training camp, he’d not only provide value to the Buffalo Bills on the field, but he could help save some money as well.