The Atlanta Falcons can work out—and have worked out—a long list of prospects. Most of those players won’t get anywhere near Atlanta, and it’s fair to suggest that some will be moved down or off the team’s draft board based on those workouts. Even so, the news that the Falcons are spending time with the draft’s tight end will and should raise a few eyebrows.
Howard is widely expected to go in the top 20-25 picks, and with good reason, given his talent. Atlanta has 2016 third round pick Austin Hooper, promising 2016 UDFA Josh Perkins, and former fourth round pick and recent re-signing Levine Toilolo available at the position, so it’s fair to suggest it’s not a massive need. It is clear the team views is as a place they can afford to add talent, however.
As our own Charles McDonald chronicled not that long ago, Howard got to work with Steve Sarkisian for a brief time, and despite some issues with his consistency and his ability to get open, the Alabama product is an absurdly gifted tight end. Adding him to this already loaded Falcons offense would give Sarkisian two terrific young tight ends to roll out at once, plus every other weapon on this team. I’d love it because it would make the offense even more of a juggernaut, but it’s worth wondering if that’s what this team really needs, given the fact that the defense still has a ways to go.
It’s likely to be a moot point, either way, because Howard isn’t making it to #31 in the first round without a few miracles breaking Atlanta’s way. But the team’s interest in the top tight end likely indicates that they’re not done adding talent at the position, at the very least.