Prospect: TE/WR Devin Funchess, Michigan
Height/Weight: 6'5", 230lbs
Projected Round: 2nd Round
Devin Funchess is a bit of a rarity. As a 6'5" prospect who can run an unofficial 4.33 40 time, you will begin to turn heads. I mean, he can absolutely torch you and blow the top off of any defense. It is something you see in the likes of New Orleans' Jimmy Graham, except he's even faster.
Devin Funchess- Love the size & catch radius. Has build up speed & he's physical after the catch. Not very sudden, not crisp route runner— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) December 10, 2014
What also turns heads, is Devin's ability to utilize his frame to his advantage. He is a mismatch that is nearly impossible to bring down. Many times you will see him box out opponents, make plays in traffic, and go up for the jump-ball. Like all great pass-catchers, he is able to find holes in the defense and turn them into big gains. There is no where for him to go but up as a project wideout.
After converting from tight end to wide receiver, Funchess struggled to adjust to the position. However, that experience is part of why some team will use an early pick on him.
Lack of bulk is Funchess' biggest weakness. He lacks ideal bulk for an NFL tight end, and when going up against larger defensive lineman, it is hard to imagine how well he'll cope (assuming he would be playing TE).
Funchess isn't exactly the most aggressive blocker. He will get out there and chip in, but you don't see that overly powerful blocker that is needed to be considered a complete player at his position. This is probably a result of the issue above.
There are also some issues with drops, as occasionally he'll drop an easy one, but it shouldn't be that big of a concern. Julio had the same flags when coming out of Alabama; it is something that goes away with a drive and practice.
SCHEME FIT AND FINAL THOUGHTS
A pass-happy Atlanta offense with a more than reliable quarterback is an ideal landing spot for a player like Devin Funchess. An explosive, WR/TE hybrid that can spread the field and could be a true future compliment to Julio, or a speed demon tearing apart the middle of the field from the line. Take your pick. If he can bulk up a bit, I'd really love his potential as a pass-catching tight end, but until then, he is a very large wideout who struggled at the position in year one.
Personally, I'd like to see the Falcons address the tight end position via free agency with someone like Charles Clay or Jordan Cameron, but I wouldn't necessarily be upset if he were the pick.
What do you think of Funchess, and which prospect would you like to see done next?