The Patriots have added another tight end to potential fill some of the considerable void left by Rob Gronkowski’s retirement. They traded a conditional seventh-round pick to Detroit for Michael Roberts.

Roberts was a fourth-round pick by the Lions in 2017. They couldn’t get him going, and after two years they’re tired of waiting for the light to come on. They drafted T.J. Hockenson in the first round and also signed Jesse James. Roberts was not going to get on the field in Detroit.

But the Patriots are interested in taking a look, and they’re painfully lean at the position. They’re going to camp with an eclectic mix of flyer types, including Benjamin Watson (suspended for first four games), Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson and Ryan Izzo. They signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but he’s already been released.

Roberts caught only 13 passes and 3 TDs in 23 games with the Lions.

He does, however, have some selling points. Some of the best tight ends (including Jimmy Graham, Gronkowski and Kyle Rudolph) are guys with big hands. Roberts is the best of the best in that regard. His hands (as measured at the combine) are over 11 and half inches wide. A blurb at indicates that’s the largest ever recorded for a tight end. (And almost the largest by any player period.)

Roberts also did a good job in college of scoring touchdowns. He caught 16 touchdowns his final season at Toledo (outscoring more heralded teammate Kareem Hunt). In this century, there have been 109 tight ends chosen with first-, second- and third-round picks. Only one of those guys (Adam Shaheen) caught as many touchdowns in his final year of college ball, and Shaheen was playing at tiny Ashland College.

I don’t see Roberts as being worth drafting today. I’m not positive he’ll even make the team. But another guy that will be worth a look in the preseason games.

20174Michael Roberts, Det.Toledo4553311.816
20172Adam Shaheen, Chi.Ashland5786715.216
20101Jermaine Gresham, Cin.Oklahoma6695014.414
20061Marcedes Lewis, Jac.UCLA5874112.810
20122Coby Fleener, Ind.Stanford3466719.610
20102Rob Gronkowski, N.E.Arizona4767214.310
20193Jace Sternberger, G.B., G.B.Texas A&M 4883217.310
20093Chase Coffman, Cin.Missouri9098711.010
20182Mike Gesicki, Mia.Penn State575639.99
20062Tony Scheffler, Den.Western Michigan5767011.89
20042Kris Wilson, K.C.Pittsburgh4464314.69
20171Evan Engram, NYGMississippi6592614.28
20171David Njoku, Clev.Miami4369816.28
20152Maxx Williams, Balt.Minnesota3656915.88
20142Austin Seferian-Jenkins, T.B.Washington3645012.58
20082Fred Davis, Wash.Southern California6288114.28
20183Mark Andrews, Balt.Oklahoma6295815.58
20133Travis Kelce, K.C.Cincinnati4572216.08
20123Dwayne Allen, Ind.Clemson5059812.08
20191T.J. Hockenson, Det.Iowa4976015.57
20191Noah Fant, Den.Iowa3951913.37
20081Dustin Keller, NYJPurdue6888113.07
20021Jeremy Shockey, NYGMiami4051913.07
19801Junior Miller, Atl.Nebraska2343518.97
20192Irv Smith Jr., Minn.Alabama4471016.17
20182Dallas Goedert, Phil.South Dakota State72111115.47
20142Jace Amaro, NYJTexas Tech106135212.87
20153Clive Walford, Oak.Miami4467615.47
20061Vernon Davis, S.F.Maryland6187114.36
20021Daniel Graham, N.E.Colorado5175314.86
19961Rickey Dudley, Oak.Ohio State3246914.76
20142Troy Niklas, Ariz.Notre Dame3757315.56
20132Zach Ertz, Phil.Stanford6989813.06
20132Gavin Escobar, Dall.San Diego State4254312.96
20163Austin Hooper , Atl.Stanford 3443812.96
20143C.J. Fiedorowicz, Hou.Iowa3029910.06
20103Ed Dickson, Balt.Oregon4255113.16
20043Chris Cooley, Wash.Utah State6273211.86
20051Heath Miller, Pitt.Virginia4154113.25
20001Bubba Franks, G.B.Miami4556512.65
20001Anthony Becht, NYJWest Virginia3551014.65
19971Tony Gonzalez, K.C.California4469915.95
19921Johnny Mitchell, NYJNebraska3153417.25
20112Lance Kendricks, St.L.Wisconsin4366315.45
20042Ben Troupe, Tenn.Florida3963816.45
20103Jimmy Graham, N.O.Miami1721312.55
20033Jason Witten , Dall.Tennessee 3949312.65
20033Visante Shiancoe , NYGMorgan State 2551020.45
20104Aaron Hernandez, N.E.Florida6885012.55
20131Tyler Eifert, Cin.Notre Dame5068513.74
20031Dallas Clark, Ind.Iowa4374217.34
20172Gerald Everett, LARSouth Alabama4971714.64
20082Martellus Bennett, Dall.Texas A&M4958712.04
20072Zach Miller, Oak.Arizona State504849.74
20062Joe Klopfenstein, St.L.Colorado3346814.24
20193Josh Oliver, Jac., Jac.San Jose State 5670912.74
20183Jordan Akins, Hou.Central Florida3251516.14
20173Jonnu Smith, Tenn.Florida International4250612.04
20113Rob Housler, Ariz.Florida Atlantic3251916.24
20103Tony Moeaki, K.C.Iowa3038712.94
20073Matt Spaeth, Pitt.Minnesota4756412.04
20175Jake Butt, Den.Michigan4654611.94
20181Hayden Hurst, Balt.South Carolina4455912.73
20171O.J. Howard, T.B.Alabama4559513.23
20141Eric Ebron, Det.North Carolina6297315.73
20011Todd Heap, Balt.Arizona State4561713.73
19971David LaFleur, Dall.Louisiana State3043914.63
20192Drew Sample, Cin., Cin.Washington 2525210.13
20162Hunter Henry , S.D.Arkansas 5173914.53
20112Kyle Rudolph, Minn.Notre Dame2832811.73
20082John Carlson, Sea.Notre Dame403729.33
20032L.J. Smith , Phil.Rutgers 3238412.03
20193Kahale Warring, Hou., Hou.San Diego State 3137212.03
20133Jordan Reed, Wash.Florida4555912.43
20123Michael Egnew, Mia.Missouri503236.53
20093Jared Cook, Tenn.South Carolina3757315.53
20083Craig Stevens, Tenn.California1720412.03
20053Alex Smith, T.B.Stanford5270613.63
20041Benjamin Watson, N.E.Georgia2332414.12
19951Kyle Brady, NYJPenn State2736513.52
19931Irv Smith, N.O.Notre Dame2026213.12
20132Vance McDonald, S.F.Rice3645812.72
20062Anthony Fasano, Dall.Notre Dame4757612.32
20153Jeff Heuerman, Den.Ohio State1720712.22
20143Crockett Gillmore, Balt.Colorado State4757712.32
20083Jermichael Finley, G.B.Texas4557512.82
20071Greg Olsen, Chi.Miami4048912.21
20041Kellen Winslow, Clev.Miami6060510.11
20021Jerramy Stevens, Sea.Washington10888.81
19951Mark Bruener, Pitt.Washington343319.71
20092Richard Quinn, Den.North Carolina89712.11
20012Alge Crumpler, Atl.North Carolina2328712.51
20143Richard Rodgers, G.B.California3960815.61
20083Brad Cottam, K.C.Tennessee512525.01
20091Brandon Pettigrew, Det.Oklahoma State4247211.20
20193Dawson Knox, Buff., Buff.Mississippi1528418.90
20163Nick Vannett , Sea.Ohio State 191628.50
20153Tyler Kroft, Cin.Rutgers2426911.20
20093Travis Beckum, NYGWisconsin2326411.50
20053Kevin Everett, Buff.Miami2331013.50
20032Bennie Joppru, Hou.Michigan5357910.95
20032Teyo Johnson, Oak.Stanford 4146711.48
20022Doug Jolley, Oak.Brigham Young3249215.47
20043Ben Hartsock, Ind.Ohio State332908.82
20033Mike Seidman , Car.UCLA 4163115.45
20023Matt Schobel, Cin.Texas Christian1931016.35
20023Chris Baker, NYJMichigan State4054813.74
20013Sean Brewer, Cin.San Jose State2937212.81
20013Shad Meier, Tenn.Kansas State910311.41
20003Erron Kinney, Tenn.Florida1622614.11

—Ian Allan