Ben Coates expects Gronk to join him as second tight end ever in the Patriots HOF

Photos via Getty Images

Will Rob Gronkowski make his way as the second tight end ever to be voted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame?

Ben Coates thinks so.

Saturday, July 7 marks the 10-year anniversary since the former Patriots’ tight end was inducted into the Hall. He is currently the only one at that position to be voted into it.

But speaking to Mike Reiss of ESPN last week, Coates thinks he’ll have company soon from Rob Gronkowski.

"He kind of reminds me of myself the way he breaks tackles,” Coates said. “But he's much bigger than me, much stronger than me. Just to watch him, the way he catches the ball, he's very aggressive. He's not the type that is going to lay down. He becomes like a defender when he gets the ball -- he runs over people. He's trying to knock people out before they knock him out."

"Rob is a complete tight end. He can run block, get vertical, catch the ball. There aren't many that can run block the defensive end by himself or pass-block a very good linebacker like Von Miller."

Coates has never actually met Gronkowski, but he has a high appreciation and respect for the way he plays the game.

Even as Gronk (474) is about to break Coates’ (490) franchise record for career regular-season receptions by a tight end, the former tight end has no hard feelings about being surpassed.

"It's not [bittersweet] because records are made to be broken. He's a phenomenal tight end and he's wearing the number, and I'm happy to see that number is still pretty big in New England," Coates said. "Just make sure he takes care of himself. They are totally different when he's not in the game."

Follow Megan on Twitter: @carnahanmegan