TE Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots
HT: 6-3, WT: 245, Born: 11-6-1989, College: Florida, Drafted: Round 4
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Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full ADP list]Overall: M Crabtree (40), R Bush (41), Aaron Hernandez (42), W Welker (43), D Sproles (44)
Position: J Graham (17-TE1), R Gronkowski (22-TE2), Aaron Hernandez (42 - TE3), J Witten (50-TE4), V Davis (74-TE5)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: M Crabtree (37), F Gore (38), Aaron Hernandez (39), D Wilson (40), T Brady (41)
Position: J Graham (15-TE1), R Gronkowski (18-TE2), Aaron Hernandez (39 - TE3), J Witten (45-TE4), V Davis (72-TE5)
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Aaron Hernandez is coming off shoulder surgery and is not expected to be at minicamps or OTAsóand it's possible he could end up on the PUP to start camp. The Patriots will probably be cautious with him this summer, but there is lots of time to get him ready for Week 1. Still, it will be important to watch his progress. There is a good chance that Rob Gronkowski's continued issues with his broken arm could get Hernandez much more featured. Thus far in his career, Hernandez has only topped 900 yards once in part due to the emergence of Gronk. If Gronkowki is down to start the season, we might see Hernandez's ability truly shine.
Latest NewsPatriots | Rob Gronkowski could need back surgery (Fri May 17, 03:32 PM) - New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm, back) could require surgery on his back for a disc issue he has been dealing with. Gronkowski recently underwent an MRI, and if he is forced to have the surgery, could be ready in the same amount of time it would take to recover from the arm issue. Our View: The back issue is considered minor but it's just another piece of bad news for fantasy owners. His status for week one is certainly in question.
link to story Patriots | Rob Gronkowski update (Fri May 17, 01:12 PM) - New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm) will likely need a fifth surgery that would probably keep him out of the start of training camp if his infection hasn't cleared when they operate on him for the fourth time next week. The team won't have a true timetable until he undergoes another procedure next week. Gronkowski has been taking antibiotics. link to story
|1||at Buffalo Bills|
|2||New York Jets|
|3||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|4||at Atlanta Falcons|
|5||at Cincinnati Bengals|
|6||New Orleans Saints|
|7||at New York Jets|
|11||at Carolina Panthers|
|13||at Houston Texans|
|15||at Miami Dolphins|
|16||at Baltimore Ravens|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Hernandezí touchdown was a direct result of the coverage sliding towards Gronkowski. Gronkowski started on the left side and waited for Gronkowski to cut towards the right corner. As he drew multiple defenders, Hernandez bolted towards the endzone, Brady stepped forward in the pocket, and hit him for an easy 23 yard touchdown. In the second half, Hernandez was used in a similar fashion to Welker, as he caught receptions of 4, 12 and 5 yards on the first two drives. In his safety valve role, Hernandez provides a bigger target, but doesnít sacrifice much in the way of quickness.
Week 2 - Hernandez was injured on the third offensive play of the game, while blocking for Julian Edelman, who ended up falling on his ankle when going down. Hernandez did not return to the game.
Week 6 - Hernandez, who came back from the ankle injury he suffered in week 2 played very well. Not playing a full complement of snaps, he still managed to gain 30 yards on 6 catches, including a spectacular fade in the end zone for a TD. His vertical ups were no issue and he should continue to see more snaps as the season progresses. He adds an element to the New England offense that the others simply do not give them, and makes them that much more dangerous.
Week 7 - Aaron Hernandez is New Englandís most versatile player. Throughout the game, Hernandez lined up in the slot, split out wide, and even in the backfield as a fullback. During his teamís second drive, Brady developed some rhythm, finding Hernandez for a short seven yard gain. Hernandez was able to shake a defender to pick-up extra yardage. Three plays later, Brady went back to Hernandez for 12 yards on an out-route. During his teamís fifth drive, Hernandez made his most impressive catch of the day. Hernandez ran a go-route down the left sideline, reached up over his back shoulder and hauled in the pass for a 17-yard gain. Hernandez showed great instinct and body control by making this catch. Hernandez made three catches for 35 yards in the first half.
After halftime, Brady found Hernandez down the seam for a 16-yard gain. Hernandez was tackled at the one-yard line. After an unsuccessful Stevan Ridley run, Hernandez was targeted on a corner route, but was unable to elevate and haul in the touchdown. Hernandezís high ankle sprain is still bothering him, but he showed that he can play a major role in this offense.
Week 12 - For the first time in five weeks, Hernandez was active and appeared on 53 snaps. However, given the lopsided nature of the game, Hernandezís impact was minimal. During his teamís second drive, Brady found Hernandez running down the left sideline for a 28-yard gain. Hernandez had no problem beating Kyle Wilson in man coverage to secure the catch. During the second half, Hernandezís four-yard touchdown grab was negated due to offensive pass interference. Hernandez clearly beat Wilson off the line of scrimmage, so Hernandezís push off was unnecessary. Hernandezís second and final catch occurred on a drag route over the middle of the field for an eight-yard gain. Due to his ankle injury, Hernandez lacks an initial burst, but he does not allow defenders to get their hands on him at the line of scrimmage.
Week 13 - Hernandez had a big fantasy day, mostly because Brady kept going back to the talented receiver after early drops. Hernandez dropped two of his first three targets, one being a potential long touchdown. When Hernandez did corral a pass, he was dynamic after the catch making moves that resemble a running back in the open field. Brady forced a pass to Hernandez deep down the field. The defensive back had great coverage with inside position, resulting in an easy interception. With Gronkowski out of the lineup, Hernandez and Welker look to be the sustaining elements to the passing game. Without Hernandezís two drops, he would have surpassed 120 yards with a score. Regardless, it was Hernandezís season-high for receptions and yards.
Week 14 - Aaron Hernandez had an excellent game in Rob Gronkowski's absence. He was targeted often early on screens and quick outs. Hernandez scored on the first series for New England after lining up in the backfield. He ran an out pattern, caught the Tom Brady pass over his outside shoulder, and turned upfield for the score. This catch came one play after recovering a Steven Ridley fumble near the goalline. Hernandez's second touchdown came on a quick pass to the left sideline to put the Patriots up 21-0. On the play, Hernandez lined up wide left and took the quick pass from Brady for the easy score. Perhaps his best catch came near the end of the third quarter on a inside post from the left side. On the play, Tom Brady threw the ball low and in front of Hernandez but the tight end still made the catch. Hernandez finished the day with eight receptions, two touchdowns, and a fumble recovery near the endzone.
Week 15 - The team leader in targets, Hernandez was thrown to over and over again, but the tight end only caught half of the balls directed his way. Hernandez was most successful on short passes, and when the tight end was able to hold on to the ball he showed great ability to run after the catch. Hernandez was an instinctive runner, turning up field quickly and running fast for nice gains. But Hernandez had issues adjusting to balls that were behind or short, and with Brady pressured, the ball was often unable to be perfectly located. Hernandezís long catch of the game came on a comeback route down the right side of the field, and the tight end was able to catch the ball in space. Hernandez had another chance to make a long catch, but Dashon Goldson struck him so hard that Hernandez was unable to hang on. The hit resulted in a defenseless receiver penalty, but the play seemed to rattle Hernandez. On the next play, a screen was called for Hernandez and with the ball arriving at the same time as the defender. Hernandez flinched and pulled back. The ball deflected off the tackler and Aldon Smith was able to pluck it out of the air. The tight end had more success afterwards, and his huge target number was the result of Brady relying on quick throws to negate San Franciscoís pressure. Hernandez ran slant after slant, and when the Patriots were near the goal line, Hernandez ran an out route across the face of the end zone. With the ball delivered perfectly to his side, Hernandez was able to catch and turn in to the end zone.
Week 16 - It was a strange game for Hernandez against Jacksonville this week. He received just five of 41 team targets without Gronkowski out of the lineup and New England trailing for over half the game. After 18 receptions and three scores over the previous two games, expectations were high considering this prime matchup. Brady rarely looked Hernandezí way and when he did, there was usually tight coverage. On just one occasion did Hernandez get free for a vintage play with after-the-catch yardage. On third-and-long, Hernandez converted in field goal range, but he had an illegal motion penalty that wiped away the gain. On his lone opportunity in the red zone, Brady missed Hernandez on a corner route with very tight coverage. Hernandez had 43 targets over the past three games and this was an uncharacteristic dud performance from one of the best tight ends in the game.
Week 17 - Hernandez lined up wide quite a bit against Miami, beating even defensive backs off the line of scrimmage. From an efficiency standpoint, Hernandez left some plays on the field. He could not corral a back shoulder throw or a smoke screen target, both on third down. While he got free after the catch on occasion, he did not pick up huge chunks of yardage like he often does with good matchups. He was rarely targeted in the second half of the game as New England controlled the clock with their run game and Wes Welker getting free with regularity. In what has been an injury-marred season for Hernandez, he was quite productive given he essentially played nine games. His pace was for 90 receptions and eight touchdowns. Hernandez is getting healthy at the right time for New Englandís playoff run.
Week 19 - Hernandez was second on the team in all receiving categories, with six catches on nine targets for 85 yards. Clearly finally healthy, Hernandezí first two catches came on the Pats 2nd possession. The following drive, Hernandez just missed a TD as he worked out of the backfield. Running a quick out, Hernandez was able to get up field before finally getting chopped down at the Texan one-yard line. Later, on the Patsí first drive of the 2nd half, Hernandez was able to outmuscle the coverage at the top of his route on a quick out (he literally pushed Glover Quin down). With Quin on the ground, Hernandez easily made the catch and turned up field. Using his deceptive elusiveness, Hernandez was able to avoid two potential tacklers and turn the short throw into a 40-yard gain, taking the offense down to the Texan 12-yard line. The same play/move by Hernandez resulted in an offensive pass interference penalty two drives later. Even without Gronkowski, a healthy Hernandez was dominant and should continue to be so in next weekís matchup with Baltimore.
Week 20 - Hernandez caught Brady's first pass on a shallow crossing route against single coverage for a first down. Hernandez's second reception came soon after when he caught a short curl route before beating a defender and turning upfield for eight yards. The Patriots went back to Hernandez three plays later on a quick screen pass that went for a first down on second and 10. Hernandez shed a tackle initially to get free. The Patriots were being creative with their tight end, as they gained six yards with him on second and 9 with a well blocked end around. On third and three, Hernandez made a tough reception over the middle in between two defenders for a first down. He caught the ball, before taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Ray Lewis for an extra 15 yards. For the second time in the game, Hernandez caught a very short curl route and quickly spun upfield to gain eight yards. On second and two, Hernandez caught a quick slant pass for a first down at the goalline. On a short out route, Hernandez caught a pass near the sidelines before turning upfield for a first down and a 10+ yard gain. Hernandez caught another short curl route for just two yards, but fought his way forward for an extra three yards on first and 10. Hernandez caught an 11 yard curl route against prevent coverage with a little more than a minute left in the game.