Levine Toilolo's job isn't easy. Even with the Falcons' switch to an inline tight end, Toilolo was expected to follow in Tony Gonzalez's footsteps. It's an incredible burden the young man is shouldering.
But that said, he's been awful this season. Just awful. Per Pro Football Focus, he's rated negatively in the past 5 games. His only positive rating was a +0.2 in week 1 against the Saints. Overall, he has a -13.5 rating, 32/32 tight ends that have played 50 percent of their team's offensive snaps. That rating makes perfect sense, if you think about it.
Through six games, Toilolo has been thrown at 21 times, reigning in only 11 passes. Of the 10 balls he hasn't caught, 6 were drops. Oh, and by the way, one of his 11 receptions resulted in a fumble. So yeah, he's underwhelmed.
If there's anything he does well, it's pass blocking, accumulating +0.6 rating this season. But that's to be expected with someone his size, and to be honest, he's only average. As a run blocker and receiver, he's absolutely horrid, accumulating -7.6 ratings in both categories this season. Again, I understand there's a learning curve in the NFL, but facts are facts. The man is not getting it done.
You have to wonder whether he's the franchise tight end the Falcons hoped he'd be. At this point, it doesn't look like he is; and if he can't improve dramatically, the Falcons would be foolish to ignore other options. I'm not saying they will get rid of Toilolo entirely, but maybe they bring in someone, whether through the draft or in free agency, to contribute to the passing game. If they do, it won't necessarily be a knock on Toilolo, because at the end of the day, it's not his fault he was overestimated.