Tony Gonzalez isn't walking through the Georgia Dome tunnel in 2014. That era is over. Now the Atlanta Falcons are left with a monstrous second-year player and a few no-names at tight end. Where do they go from here?
For the past three or so years, it seems every "expert" or analyst has predicted the Falcons drafting a tight end. Tyler Eifert was the favorite in 2013, Ladarius Green the year prior. Instead, Levine Toilolo came to Atlanta via a fourth-round pick.
As the roster stands today, the Falcons have four tight ends:
- Toilolo: At 6-foot-8, he's a giant. His size makes him a great red-zone target, which is commonly discussed. But he isn't the best blocker, and he didn't do anything to really wow the staff in his rookie season. Unless he takes a huge leap forward in 2014, they need someone to complement him on offense.
- Adam Nissley: He plays football sometimes.
- Mickey Shuler: He's on the Falcons roster.
- Andrew Szczerba: His last name is hard to spell.
- Jace Amaro, Texas Tech: The 6-foot-5 Red Raider is clearly a talented receiver. Good hands, good versatility. He fits the bill of a Joker tight end. Would he fit in the Falcons offense? He certainly needs a few tutorials on blocking, as he wasn't asked to do much in college. But most college tight ends need improvement here. How high would the Falcons be willing to draft him? Amaro could be a first-rounder.
- C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa: Nearly the same height and weight as Amaro, Fiedorowicz ran just 0.02 seconds slower in the 40. He has big hands and is a reliable receiver. Suited for the traditional in-line (or Y, whatever you want to call it) role with better blocking chops than Amaro. Doesn't do a lot after the catch.
- D.J. Tialavea, Utah State: Unlike the first two, I haven't seen much of Tialava other than random clips online. He underwent foot surgery and missed most of 2013. He'd be a developmental player/UDFA who already has a leg up on blocking.