Devin Asiasi wasn’t the first tight end selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, but there are many who believe he could wind up being the best of the lot when all things are said and done.
The New England Patriots chose Asiasi out of UCLA in the third round and that was a little bit of a surprise considering many experts had mocked the team to select Adam Trautman out of Dayton. The Patriots clearly didn’t fancy Trautman as they passed over him twice in the third round.
New England traded up for a second pick in the third round to take TE/FB hybrid, Dalton Keene, out of Virginia Tech, which was four selections ahead of Trautman.
All along, Asiasi was the guy they had sitting highest on their board. Perhaps it was this sort of athleticism that ignited the Patriots to select him.
Take a look at this effort shown by Asiasi in the midst of his team being blown out. This hurdle of a Utah Utes defender is pretty impressive in any circumstance, let alone while down big on the scoreboard.
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Devin Asiasi Highlights
Take a look at a more complete package of the Patriots’ new tight end’s highlights.
Devin Asiasi vs. Cole Kmet
We know the Patriots liked Asiasi and Keene better than Trautman, but what about Cole Kmet? The Notre Dame standout was the first tight end selected in the draft when the Chicago Bears picked him with the 43rd overall selection.
As big, physical, and athletic as Kmet is, there are NFL execs who see multiple areas where Asiasi projects to be superior.
“Oh, I love him,” an exec said, per Mike Sando of The Athletic. “I think they hit a grand slam, but he fell to them for a reason. He was suspended. The character is concerning. (Editor’s note: Asiasi was suspended for three games to start the 2018 season for a violation of team rules.) But he is better in and out of his breaks than (Cole) Kmet and a better blocker right now. He is a more vertical, wider-angle cut receiver.”
Until the end of time, every tight end that wears a Patriots uniform will be compared to Rob Gronkowski. One NFL exec warns about juxtaposing anyone to the recently-traded Patriot legend, but he did offer more compliments for Asiasi:
“No one is Gronk, but if you are going to find a replacement for him, you are going to get a guy who weighs 270 pounds, who can block, who can high-point the ball. He is a good player, a really good player.”
In reality, there isn’t a great deal of difference between a tight end taken in the second and third rounds, especially when we look back at this dynamic three years down the line when a real evaluation can be made.
That said, you can bet, Asiasi, Keene, Trautman, and Kmet will be forever compared to each other for as long as the four tight end’s careers last.
Clearly, the Patriots are hoping they tabbed the two best of the group.
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