The Falcons have brought back tight end Luke Stocker, who spent the 2019 season with the Falcons before being released back in mid-March as part of the team’s major cap space-related purge. The veteran re-joins the team as easily the most experienced and proven option at a position where that experience is likely needed, so it’s good to have him back.
Stocker likely slots in as Hayden Hurst’s top backup, though Jaeden Graham will get run when the team needs a receiving option, which Stocker emphatically is not. The move likely relegates one of Khari Lee and Jared Pinkney to the practice squad, if not both of them, and gives this depth chart its blocking tight end.
Stocker, 32, was perhaps the most obvious signing of the 2019 offseason, given that his former offensive coordinator and head coach Dirk Koetter, former head coach Mike Mularkey, and former coach Ben Steele all converged on Atlanta. He and Matt Ryan did not forge a beautiful friendship through the air, with Stocker bringing in just 8 of 14 targets for 53 yards and a fumble on the season. He was predictably a fine blocker, however, and has experience at both tight end and fullback to his name that became moot when the team signed Keith Smith.
In this year’s Falcons offense, Stocker will be a blocker for Todd Gurley and company and a blocker downfield for this team’s (hopefully) lethal passing attack, with Hurst, Graham, and perhaps Pinkney handling the receiving work when it’s needed. His experience and blocking acumen will be handy for this team, and that does button up my ongoing concerns about the lack of both for the tight end depth chart.
The Falcons also brought back offensive lineman Scottie Dill, a UDFA from Memphis they had previously cut ties with. It’s probably a good sign for his chances of sticking to the practice squad that the team wanted him back, but we’ll see how that part of the depth chart shakes out.
Welcome back, Luke Stocker and Scottie Dill!