K-State FB Glenn Gronkowski ‘his own man’ heading into NFL Draft

INDIANAPOLIS – Credit Kansas State fullback Glenn Gronkowski for remaining patient after NFL media members peppered him with questions on his older brother, Rob of the New England Patriots, at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Feb. 26, 2016; Indianapolis; Kansas State fullback Glenn Gronkowski during drills at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Feb. 26, 2016; Indianapolis; Kansas State fullback Glenn Gronkowski during drills at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

The younger Gronkowski never flinched when asked about his brother’s recent party cruise and admitted during a media session the question came up “probably 50 times” from teams and reporters when he arrived in Indianapolis.

While various media members attempted to make a big deal of his brother’s party cruise, one draft analyst believes it has zero bearing on the K-State fullback’s draft value.

Gronkowski, after all, was in Indianapolis to showcase his football abilities, not shed light on the off-field habits of his older brother.

“I don’t think it hurts Glenn Gronkowski at all,” said Rob Rang, senior analyst with NFLDraftScout.com and CBS Sports. “He’s his own man and just the fact his older brother is doing these things, I mean, I have to think it has absolutely no impact whatsoever.”

“If Glenn had issues of partying and things like that, then maybe you do have to try to overlook it. But at this point, I think it’s a non-issue.”

From the football point of view, Gronkowski measured 6-2 and 239 pounds in Indianapolis, posting a 4.71 time in the 40-yard dash among the running backs.

His college stats won’t blow anyone away when considering he finished his career at K-State with 51 yards rushing and a touchdown on 11 carries, adding 369 yards receiving and five touchdowns on 15 catches.

And draft analyst Mike Mayock of the NFL Network indicated it is difficult to assess whether a fullback can do enough to showcase full talent at the Combine.

“I don’t think you can show enough here to say a skillset,” Mayock said. “I mean, he’s a tough kid, he catches the ball, and fullbacks don’t get drafted very often or very high.

Mayock has a good point on where fullbacks tend to get selected in recent years.

But Gronkowski could project as an H-back or tight end in the NFL, and his 40-yard dash time would have ranked as tied for second-best among the tight ends at the Combine.

“I think I can contribute in a lot of different ways than fullback,” Gronkowski said. “Obviously, I just played fullback in college. But actually at the Senior Bowl, I was playing a lot H-back, fullback and they even had me out at slot receiver. I think I adjusted to it very well, so I think I can do more than just play fullback.”

NFLDraftScout.com and CBS Sports project Gronkowski as a fourth- or fifth-round pick in May’s NFL Draft.

And his older brother’s high-profile lifestyle aside, it is Gronkowski’s willingness and flexibility to do more at the next level that should keep him on a team’s radar.

“I just think any club that’s looking for a fullback, who can catch the ball out of the backfield, who can put a helmet in a guy’s chest and move him out of the way, lead for the running back is going to be potentially interested,” Rang said. “As you well know, the traditional fullback is kind of a dying breed, so I think the versatility that Glenn has shown throughout his career is why he does have a chance to go somewhere on Day Three (of the draft).”

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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