The Atlanta Falcons are still seeking to replace future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. And that search might continue for years. No help was anticipated in the draft, and the Falcons indeed decided to avoid drafting a tight end.
It was simply not a very strong position in this draft. There was not a first round pick spent on a tight end, and only one tight end (Maxx Williams) was selected in the second round (by Minnesota with pick 55).
The Falcons still have Levine Toilolo, who will be in his third season in Atlanta this year. They also signed two free agents, Jacob Tamme from the Broncos and Tony Moeaki from the Chiefs, to compete for playing time.
Tamme is a 30-year-old veteran of seven NFL seasons. His best year was in 2012, his first season in Denver as he followed Peyton Manning from the Colts to the Broncos. Tamme had 555 yards that season. Last year, Tamme had only 14 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Moeaki is a 28-year-old veteran of three NFL seasons. His best year was his rookie season of 2010, when he had 556 receiving yards for the Chiefs. Moeaki had eight catches last season for the Seahawks. Obviously, he played for Falcons executive Scott Pioli in Kansas City and new head coach Dan Quinn watched him last year with the Seahawks.
Toilolo is expected to get the first chance at the starting job. He turns 24 in late July, and with his size Toilolo still has great potential to be a significant target for quarterback Matt Ryan.
The Falcons will likely never have another receiver at this position like Tony Gonzalez, but all they need is someone to contribute to the offense. The receivers – Julio Jones and Roddy White – are the favorite targets for Ryan. But having someone at the position that can at least be a threat will go a long way in making the offense more dangerous in 2015.
If the position is not productive, tight end could be at the top of the draft list for 2016 if it is a strong position 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.
Post Draft Position Analysis - Tight End
Falcon Insider Top Stories
Grading the Atlanta Falcons' Free AgencyJorge Andres and CBS Sports NFL writer Will Brinson are giving out Free Agency grades. How did the Atlanta Falcons do?
NFL Free Agency Update: Atlanta FalconsJon Beason thinks this Atlanta Falcon will be the happiest about the Dontari Poe signing
Atlanta Falcons Sign Dontari PoeThe Atlanta Falcons look to improve their defense and they're bringing in big Dontari Poe on a one-year deal.
Free agency update: Atlanta FalconsPete Prisco joins Jorge Andres to break down the latest on the Atlanta Falcons in the Free Agent Market.
NFL Scouting Combine ListThe NFL on Wednesday released the list of 330 players who will run, test and interview at the Scouting Combine.