L.J. has pretty good speed and is pretty good at sitting down in zones and getting open on shorter routes. That's the good news. Here's the bad news:
1) He has very poor hands. He will drop a lot of balls, and when he does catch the ball, he double clutches and bobbles. He doesn't help his quarterback very much, so the ball had better be right in his breadbasket for him to make a reception.
2) He fumbles and is easy to strip.
3) He makes mental errors at the line of scrimmage and will mess up the snap count or line up incorrectly.
4) He is average at best as a blocker.
L.J.'s ability to stay in the league and keep a starting job is one of life's great mysteries. He's a receiver-type tight end with poor receiving skills. The Falcons are weak at tight end, but there are several prospects in the draft who could get up to speed by midyear and outplay L.J.
Still, Smith's deficiencies could see him helping the Falcons in the short term -- Atlanta has more dynamic receivers than the Eagles do, though there is no singular threat to compete with Brian Westbrook. More importantly, signing Smith would put the Falcons in a position where they're not reacting at a need level in the draft. Most mock drafts have them taking Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew, but the needs on defense are great at every level.
Doug Farrar is the Publisher of FalconInsider.com. You can also find his work on Football Outsiders, ESPN.com, the Washington Post, and the Seattle Times. Feel free to contact Doug here.