If Rob Gronkowski had been in charge of where he was going to land in the 2010 NFL Draft, there's a good chance he wouldn't have ended up with the Patriots, and that's because he actually wanted to play for the Arizona Cardinals. During a recent interview with KMVP-FM, Gronk revealed that he went into the draft hoping that the Cardinals would select him with their first-round pick. From Gronk's end, it all seemed like a perfect fit: The Cardinals needed someone at his position and he was widely viewed as one of the top tight ends in the draft.
"I felt like they needed a tight end and they brought me in for a little visit, and I was praying that they would take me at the 26th pick and they never took me," Gronk said.
It's not often you hear a player say he "wants" to play for the Cardinals (no offense, Cardinals), but Gronk actually had a pretty good reason for wanting to land in Arizona. The now-retired tight end spent his college years playing at the University of Arizona and he liked it so much that he was hoping to continue his football career down the road from the school's Tucson campus.
"I loved being in the state of Arizona … and the [Cardinals] had the 26th pick ... and I was praying that they would take me because I wanted to go there," Gronk said. "It was one of my top-five teams that I would have loved to have landed at."
In the end, the Cardinals decided to take a pass on Gronkowski, and instead, they drafted defensive tackle Dan Williams, who ended up spending just five seasons in Arizona. As for Gronk, when the Cardinals didn't select him, he wasn't really surprised, and that's because the team apparently had zero interest in him during a pre-draft visit.
"I remember, I took a visit there and everything and I could tell they had no interest in me," Gronkowski said. "Even when I took the visit, I was just hoping with that 26th pick they'd take me. I could tell, the people that brought me in, they were just bringing me in to bring me in. They gave no cares about me."
Although he was a first-round talent, Gronk's stock took a slight hit before the draft due to injury concerns over his back. The Patriots ended up selecting him in the second round with the 42nd overall pick, and everything ended up working out for everyone involved, well, except for the Cardinals.