The Patriots spent draft capital to trade for Dwayne Allen over the offseason, solidifying their commitment to him as the 1B to Rob Gronkowski's 1A on the tight end depth chart. And with Gronk's extensive injury history, the team expects Allen to play like he's a starter. So far, that hasn't quite happened in minicamp.
On Tuesday, Allen had some issues with drops in the rain. According to CSNNE, he let "a few [passes] bounce in and out of his hands" before he recovered to finish the day strong with a difficult TD grab. With his performance in mind, the tight end said that he's feeling "a lot of frustration because I know that I can play better. I know that I am better."
Unfortunately for both Allen and the team, that frustration couldn't translate into increased performance on Wednesday. He missed a pair of catchable balls again, one from Tom Brady and one from Jimmy Garoppolo. As he put it, "There's a standard of excellence here, so if you drop a pass that's not excellence....It's always frustrating when you don't do your best." While it's not the whole story, the videos out from minicamp don't look like anything near Allen's best:
TE Dwayne Allen said he can play better. This drill today shows how he and Tom Brady are working to get on same page pic.twitter.com/auPSkoit1C
To be sure, none of this has had any impact on Allen's depth chart position so far. He's still firmly entrenched behind Gronk, with or without drop problems. But for the sake of the team and for his sake as a player, this is one issue he really has to straighten out before the season starts.