Under Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith, the Falcons have shown an enduring love for picking up tight ends and Canadian Football League players. Those two preferences may be colliding again, as the Falcons worked out former CFL tight end Nikola Kalinic on Monday.
Kalinic, 26, has also worked out for the Browns and Packers this offseason after spending part of the 2022 season on the Colts practice squad and active roster. Interestingly enough, he returned one kickoff for them but otherwise did not pile up any stats in seven games. If he did sign with Atlanta, chances are good that the 6’5”, 256 pound tight end would join up as a reserve who primarily plays on special teams.
The Falcons do not have a completely settled depth chart at tight end after Kyle Pitts, Parker Hesse, and Jonnu Smith, who are expected to be their three top options. Atlanta’s fourth tight end will need to offer considerable special teams value and some utility as a pass catcher and blocker, with Feleipe Franks, John FitzPatrick, and Tucker Fisk currently vying for that role. Kalinic’s blocking, solid enough CFL production as a receiver, and special teams history should earn him a long look.
We’ll see if the Falcons continue to churn the bottom of the roster and add Kalinic, but I wouldn’t consider this tight end depth chart a finished product ahead of training camp, either way.