The New England Patriots have an uncertain forecast at the tight end position in 2014, so Mel Kiper Jr.'s pick for the team in his first mock draft -- Texas Tech's Jace Amaro -- hits one of the few sweet spots for the team.
Once again, there will be questions about Rob Gronkowski's health as he attempts to come back from a torn ACL. The next two players on the depth chart, Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan, are scheduled for free agency. D.J. Williams, who is more of a "move" tight end, rounds out the group, and he's under contract for 2014.
So if it's not a big defensive lineman or offensive lineman, a tight end who has upside as a pass catcher but also is a factor at the line of scrimmage wouldn't be a surprising pick.
Amaro has declared for the draft after his junior season. At 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, the question from here is whether he's more of a receiver playing tight end or he'd be considered a true "combination" tight end who can also bang at the line of scrimmage.
If the Patriots are going to invest such a high pick at the position, the key would be the team's viewpoint that Amaro has "combination" potential.