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MJS: The 2017 NFL draft is stupid deep at tight end

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The Atlanta Falcons should be in the market for a tight end, and it’s a great draft to be in the market.

Miami v North Carolina State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

We were disappointed to see Jacob Tamme’s impressive stint with the Atlanta Falcons come to a screeching stop due to injury. At 32, Tamme was a very reliable safety valve, but we were pretty confident the team would try to get younger at the position.

We have had an eye out at tight end in this upcoming draft, and the team may have lucked out. Every year Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal polls scouts and general managers across the league, and puts out perhaps the most well-informed draft primer days before teams begin making selections.

The depth is making the league say, “woah!” Dan Quinn is likely eyeing some defensive help and a few guards early in the draft, but tight end may pop up on day two and day three. Here’s what some NFL personnel folks are saying.

“The numbers are unusual,” an executive in personnel for an NFC team said. “Normally there’s two, maybe three guys. This year, there’s probably eight or nine.”

The Falcons are expected to run a similar offense that needed four roster spots dedicated to the tight end position. The only locks at that position are Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo. They could be in the market for another playmaker to rotate into the offense.

Here’s how the league expects the draft to go.

It certainly wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility for Howard, Njoku and Engram to be first-round picks next week.

Engram was compared to a few big wide receivers in the league, and actually made third place in the wide receiver poll. I would not expect the Falcons to be in for a tight end this early, but that might change in round two or three. Who could be available then?

Following, in order, were Gerald Everett, 20 points; Jake Butt, 17; Jordan Leggett, 10 ½; Bucky Hodges, 7 ½; Adam Shaheen, seven; Jonnu Smith, two, and Cole Hikutini, one.

There are a lot of interesting prospects here. Butt, healing from an ACL injury, was compared to Heath Miller. Hodges and Leggett were compared to Jimmy Graham. Shaheen reportedly has potential to become a Jason Witten or Martellus Bennett.

There is just a ton of talent available this year. Ginn reminds readers that it’s likely half of these guys won’t work out, due to either injury or other unknown reasons. Additionally, there are few guys outside of the first round that are expected to make a big impact early. However, this is a great year to invest in a backup tight end.