The other day I looked at Tyler Eifert as a potential Falcon. In a sum-up, I think Atlanta has to select a pass catching tight end who can manage some semblance of blocking. Our team has moved to a pass heavy offense and an excellent blocker has limited use in our offense.
Maybe someone like this?
Tyler Eifert fits that bill but does not feel to be great value, based on Atlanta's needs and draft position. Who fits the bill as a good developmental, athletic guy that can be had in the midrounds?
Vance McDonald showed well at the combine and is my favorite as a projected 5th-6th rounder that Thomas Dimitroff takes in his unpredictable 3rd round. McDonald was among the top performers in the broad jump, bench press, 3-cone drill and the 60-yard shuttle. The 6'4", 265lbs prospect out of Rice played significantly in the slot but was moved around as well as a mismatch player. He puts forth good effort, has pretty good hands and is great running vertical.
Jordan Reed is an undersized but athletic tight end that looks similar to other tight ends I've liked (like D.J. Williams) who have great speed on the field but are incompetent blockers. Florida moved Reed around early on, between wideout, running back and even quarterback until finally settling him in at tight end in 2011. In 2012 he became their best player in a pass game run through a terrible quarterback. He could work the middle of the field quite well but will be limited thanks to his 6'2", 236lbs frame but he did finish out last season with 12.4 YPC. The biggest hinderance to Atlanta bringing in Reed would be Bill Belichick somehow not drafting someone who is both from Florida and a tight end.
Gavin Escobar fits the presumed mold as the nearly 6'6", 254lbs prospect from San Diego State has averaged over 660 yards the past two seasons. He was 2nd, to only Tyler Eifert, in the 3-cone drill. His production dropped in 2012 after his quarterback, Ryan Lindley, fled for the NFL. Perhaps the most physical specimen of the three, Escobar has great hands, long arms and good speed on the field. He presents the matchup problem every team wants, in that he can outrun most linebackers and can outsize defensive backs. This former basketball player could learn a lot from former basketball player Tony Gonzalez. I would also love to get a jersey that says "Escobar" on the back.
Any of these players can come in and play the #2 spot in 2013 and take the lead in 2014 in Dirk Koetter's offense.
Previous Draft Outlooks:
CB: Desmond Trufant and Jamar Taylor
TE Tyler Eifert