The Patriots aren’t the only team with tight ends who do damage to opposing teams. Last season, particularly in the early going, the Pats didn’t exactly have what you’d call a tight end stopper.

That has to change this year, because the list of tight ends the team has to face doesn’t get any easier — starting with Scott Chandler the first week in Buffalo, and ultimately moving on down the line with Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez; Cincinnati’s Jermaine Gresham, who now has Bengals first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert riding shotgun; and of course, the Saints with Jimmy Graham.

Which Patriots defender will draw the assignment to contain or shut down the 6-foot-7 Graham? Will it be 6-3 veteran safety Adrian Wilson? Or will Bill Belichick stick with second-year safety Tavon Wilson, who took on most of the tight ends toward the end of the year and did a decent job?

Maybe, it’ll be none of the above. Perhaps it’s someone sitting behind curtain No. 3. Rookie linebacker Jamie Collins is said to be a jack of all trades. He is also extremely athletic with incredibly long arms. He might stand a chance against the Grahams and Chandlers of the world. It could very well be the second-round draft choice out of Southern Mississipppi.

Then there’s seventh-round pick Steve Beauharnais of Rutgers. Pro Football Weekly’s draft preview wrote of him: “Good hands . . . can control tight ends.”

One final entry is linebacker Dane Fletcher, coming back from knee injury. He handled some of the duties prior to blowing out his knee. It’s also possible for him to win the job back.

The bottom line? One of these players has to make sure the Pats don’t suffer a fate they often inflict: death by tight end.