AFI Combine Watch: CSU TE Kory Sperry

It's no secret the Atlanta Falcons were sorely lacking at the tight end position in 2008, so it would come as no surprise if they took a tight end at some point in April's NFL Draft. Here's a look at one of the more gifted prospects at that position and what has led him to this point in his career.

Colorado State TE Kory Sperry is a player that wasn't on a lot of radars heading into his senior season in 2008.

He tore the ACL in his left knee during the second quarter of the second game of the 2007 season.

Sperry had expected to be in the draft in 2008, but the NCAA granted him a medical redshirt and thus he returned to Colorado Springs for his sixth season and he made the most of it posting 38 receptions for 492 yards and six touchdowns.

Sperry admitted the new offense that head coach Steve Fairchild brought in took a while to get used to, but he thinks it has prepared him well for the next level.

"He brought in a pro style offense, running around a lot, the tight ends moving around a lot," Sperry said as he conducted interviews at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. "So really it helped us because he brought that NFL mentality. Just because of how he set up the offense, not only was I spread out, but I played in the hole position run blocking too.

"Some colleges use their tight ends one spot, but we had to be ready to do anything – come out of the backfield, put your hand on the ground and block and catch the ball."

Sperry's size -- 6-4, 240 -- and speed -- 4.75 -- combined with his athleticism and soft hands makes him an underrated player to keep an eye on as the draft process continues on, but he acknowledged that he is aware he has to let teams know his knee is good-to-go.

"When you have an ACL people might not think you're ready, but I want to prove I'm healthy," Sperry said. "(I've) been examined by every team out there. The knee looked good, tight, nothing negative that they said about it."

He also said he thinks it has hurt his draft status as well.

"Definitely I think it did," Sperry said. "I don't think a lot of people expected me to come back the way I did from my ACL, as strong as before. Because not only do you have to get over it physically, you have to get over it mentally.

"You get hurt and you're going to worry about it all the time and if you worry about it all the time, you're going to get hurt again."

Sperry is a player with a late-round grade at this point, but with a good workout in Indy and some good individual workouts he could move himself into the fifth round and be a real asset to an offense down the road if he gets into the right system.

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