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Poll: Would you rather have Clay Matthews or Rob Gronkowski on the Patriots?

12.09.11 at 12:02 pm ET

In this excellent column, Chris Price explores the many events that led to the Patriots being able to draft tight end Rob Gronkowski — as impactful a tight end as there is in the NFL right now — in the second round of the 2010 draft.

There are a number of striking details in the process that led Gronkowski to the Pats with the No. 42 pick of the 2010 draft, but among them, one stands out as particularly fascinating. To wit:

“It all began in 2009, when New England had the 23rd pick, and ended up trading down and out of the first round, shipping the pick to Baltimore and moving down three spots while picking up the Ravens’€™ fifth-round selection. The Patriots then dealt themselves out of the first round altogether, sending that 26th pick and the fifth-round selection from the Ravens to the Packers for a second-round pick (No. 41) and a pair of third-rounders (No. 73 and No. 83 overall).

“Green Bay used the pick to select Clay Matthews, and New England fans watched as Matthews finished his rookie year with 10 sacks, while the Patriots only had one player finish with more than five, and ended up with 31 as a team.”

So, the Patriots gave up their shot at Packers linebacker Clay Matthews in order to draft Gronkowski. Both are among the best in the game at their respective positions. That, in turn, lends itself to our poll question:

Who would you rather have playing for the Patriots?

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