One position the Falcons did not address in the draft was tight end, which was considered a weak position this season in the draft.
The Falcons simply had too many needs to take a player that might not be a significant upgrade from the four players they have on the roster now: Levine Toilolo, Jacob Tamme, Tony Moeaki and Mickey Shuler.
Toilolo will be in his third season in 2015. The 6-8, 265-pounder made all 16 starts at the position last season. He had 31 catches for 238 yards and two touchdowns.
Tamme is an eight-year veteran that is 6-3 and 230 pounds. He started his career in Indianapolis for four seasons and then spent the last three in Denver before signing with the Falcons as a free agent. He followed Peyton Manning to Denver. Tamme had just 14 catches last year for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Moeaki is another free agent signee after spending last season in Seattle. He had eight catches for 134 yards and scored one touchdown. Moeaki had two decent seasons for the Chiefs in 2010 and 2012 when he had 1009 in those two years.
And Shuler returns to the Falcons after spending most of last season on Jacksonville’s practice squad. He played three games with the Jaguars and started one game but did not catch a pass. Shuler has bounced around from the Vikings to the Dolphins, back to Minnesota, then to Oakland, Buffalo, Atlanta, Jacksonville and now back with the Falcons.
The Falcons did get another receiver in the draft with East Carolina’s Justin Hardy, picked in the fourth round. But the tight ends were just not a fit, so it should not be a surprise the Falcons passed on one in the draft.
Toilolo will be the favorite to win the position, but Tamme will likely give Toilolo a challenge. The position won’t be considered a strength for the Falcons until someone emerges. If no one does, this will likely be a priority next offseason, either in free agency or in the draft.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Falcons pass on taking a tight end
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