t can be hard to please New England Patriots fans.
After such a dominant run over the last 20 years, Patriots fans’ expectations are quite high. So when a draft pick doesn’t pan out, they aren’t afraid to let their voices be heard.
Being drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Dalton Keene was looked at as the future of the position for New England. After Rob Gronkowski’s departure, the Patriots went out and drafted Keene and Devin Asiasi.
Keene came out of Virginia Tech with quality numbers. In his best season, the tight end tallied 28 catches for 341 yards and three touchdowns. As the numbers may indicate, Keene is more known for his blocking ability and being able to open up holes for his teammates running the ball.
Unfortunately for Keene, his NFL career can only be described as a disaster so far. He has only played six games since joining New England and has a measly three catches for 16 yards.
But the man can still celebrate his birthday right? There is no way that Patriots fans would use the occasion to make fun of the tight end?
The Patriots’ official Twitter account posted a ‘Happy birthday” image featuring Keene and while some happy birthday’s from fans, others decided to let the world know how they feel about the tight end.
Other fans took a less harsh approach. They simply asked who in fact Keene was.
Finally, the birthday post serves as a reminder to some fans that Keene was still on the team.
The End is Likely Near
Keene is indeed still on the team. He is entering the second year of his four-year rookie contract.
With Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith joining the team in 2021, Keene was trapped deep on the depth chart. Henry performed the best out of the two newbies racking up 50 receptions for 603 yards and nine touchdowns. Smith finished his first season in New England with just 28 receptions for 294 yards and a touchdown.
If Keene is going to get snaps, it’s going to be at a different position. With his run-blocking ability, Keene has taken snaps at fullback when he was able to get on the field.
The problem is that the Patriots appear to be getting rid of the position in 2022. Former Patriot fullback Jakob Johnson spoke with DPA in Germany and said that the Patriots are getting rid of the position in 2022.
The Patriots have informed me that they will no longer need my services next season simply because they will no longer have my position on the roster,” Johnson said.
Whether New England decides to not use a fullback entirely or use a player already on the roster at the position remains to be seen. Keene’s chance of staying on the roster increases quite a bit if he could be the Patriots’ fullback.
But hopefully Keene was still able to have fun on his birthday even though some fans decided to make fun of him on his special day.