Robert James Gronkowski (born May 14, 1989), nicknamed "Gronk", is a former American football tight end who played his entire professional career for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL) until his retirement in March 2019. He is a three-time Super Bowl champion (XLIX, LI, LIII), a five-time Pro Bowl selection, four-time First Team All-Pro selection, and was the highest ranked tight end in the annual NFL Top 100 Players five times.
Gronkowski played college football at the University of Arizona, winning several awards, including being named a Sporting News and Rivals.com Freshman All-American. The Patriots drafted Gronkowski in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft with the 42nd pick, after missing his junior year due to back surgery.
Notable for being a skilled receiver and talented blocker, Gronkowski has set several NFL records, including being the only one of his position to ever lead the league in receiving touchdowns (17) in 2011. He also has the most career postseason receiving yards by a tight end (1,163) – the only tight end in NFL history to reach 1,000 or more yards. He has the most career postseason receiving touchdowns for his position with 12, as well as the most combined receptions (23) and receiving yards (297) by a tight end in Super Bowl history. He is ranked first in average receiving yards per game (68.3), average yards per target (9.9), and average touchdowns per game (0.69) among tight ends.
Gronkowski is one of the most popular football players of the 2010s, with a larger-than-life personality on and off the field. With his numerous accomplishments and accolades, he is regarded by many sports analysts, writers, and peers not only as one of his era's best players, but the greatest tight end to ever play the game.