Patriot TEs Zach Sudfeld, Daniel Fells, Jake Ballard and Michael Hoomanawanui all filled their roles nicely in the opener. Sudfeld will assume some of Aaron Hernandez’ responsibilities, lining up offset or in the slot and catching passes, and his nifty spin move by the sideline was eerily familiar. Fells, who has had a nice camp, played well in his blocking and receiving assignments.
Ballard was counted on as more of a blocker, and Hoomanawanui did some of the same, including several snaps at fullback. All four would be useful on the 53-man roster until Rob Gronkowski returns.
Sudfeld and Fells have stood out the most in camp and there was talk of Ballard not making the team as he tries to get back to 100-percent. It seems like all could make the team if Gronkowski misses time or starts on PUP. But with the lack of info about Gronk, it's even possible Gronkowski is ready for week one. Either way, don't expect any of the other TEs to put up Hernandez-like numbers as the Pats are expected to run more and/or use more three WR sets.