Justin Jones has been my best shot for surprise player of 2014. Now, five practices into training camp, Ben Volin of the Globe likes him to be possibly the top impact rookie on the team. "You just can't fake 6-8." I'll add, with decent lateral acceleration for a 275 pound player, with gorilla-sized arm length, with a vertical leap to the moon and with decent run-blocking.
It's not a question of Justin Jones or Gronkowski any more than it was a question of Gronk or AHern. It's a question of them both lining up on the same side, with one of them lining up a yard behind the line of scrimmage. Brady loves the option play, and often as not the running-back-by committee will run behind Gronk and/or Jones, because who's going to stop them?
Then again, Brady might set up in the pocket. Jones accelerates and gets open. Nobody guards Jones's airspace and he's actually a bigger target than Gronk, if such a thing is possible. Jones will never break away for the touchdown but he'll get 6 or 8 yards easily, and then he'll crash into a puny cornerback, which at 275 lbs won't help the cornerback's humor one bit. If we already know that Gronk can't be single-covered except by a few lucky teams, what about Jones and Gronk at once, sometimes running picks for each other? What team carries two of those elite coverage specialists, much less one?