NEN Xtra – From roommates at the combine, to competing for the same tight end position

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Foxborough, MA – Not too long ago, Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene were roommates at the NFL combine. Now in training camp, they’re on the same team, but battling for the same position.

Both rookies were drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft–only ten picks apart from each other. Although Asiasi came first (91st pick), they both share the same challenges in New England. Each of them are trying to find a role that best fits the team, while adjusting to the speed of the game in the leap from college to the pros.

“It’s a big transition, as far as the speed and the physicality goes,” said Asiasi on Monday. “What I’m  looking for is to challenge myself and going against the fastest guy, going against the strongest guy, and try to elevate my game. So it’s definitely been a transition but it’s been  something needed for my elevation each and every day.”

As for Keene, he understands that the tight end position is an important position, and with a big group of young players all competing for that position, it may take some time to be available to play any role.

“There’s definitely a huge change in the speed of the game and that’s something that I’m trying to adjust to still,” said Keene. “I really don’t know what my role is going to be. I’m preparing to do a lot of different things. So, I gotta take a step back and learn as much as I can about the offense and whatever they ask me to do, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Regardless, the tight end position is a spot everyone has their eye on in New England. It’s a position that has had question marks since the departure of beloved veteran, Rob Gronkowski.

So for these two former roommates, their relationship and work ethic may go a long way in helping each other get on the field and produce for this team. Although they’re competing, they’re aware of each other’s strengths and how they compliment each other on the field.

“We compliment each other in a lot of different ways on the field,” said Keene. “It’s nice to have a guy that is kind of in the same shoes as you so you can help each other out. And it helps with learning and it helps with competition and stuff like that.”

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