Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the real unknowns of the 2010 draft after missing the entire 2009 season due to a back injury and subsequent surgery.
According to Gronkowksi, interviewed last night on Sirius Radio with Howard Balzer, it seems that scouts will have to wait a bit longer to see him perform. Gronkowski is choosing to participate in the bench press only and will save all other drills for his Pro Day (tentatively scheduled for March 12).
Considering that the injury in question was his back, Gronkowski's decision to lift seems odd. Some will presume it as proof that Gronkowski feels he is healthy enough to perform all of the drills, but is electing to buy himself some more time to run the all-important 40-yard dash and go through pass-catching and route-running drills.
Of course, the biggest test Gronkowski has to answer at the Combine, he'll still undergo - proving through the exhaustive medical screening that he is, in fact, 100%.
Despite having only two seasons under his belt, the 20-year old Gronkowski is Arizona's all-time leading tight end in various categories, including the single-game, single-season, and career leader in receptions (75), receiving yards (1,197) and touchdowns (16).
When healthy, Gronkowski is the 2010 draft's best all-around tight end prospect and worthy of a first round pick. Considering the injury questions with Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham and the size limitations of Florida's Aaron Hernandez, Gronkowski has a chance to be the first tight end selected this year. Depending on the scheme, each of these three players may be the top-rated tight end on NFL boards.