The Atlanta Falcons were a mess last season. There were multiple injuries to the offense, the defense was in the bottom of all the important categories and finished 4-12 after going 13-3 one year ago.
While most of the offensive players will start the 2014 healthy, there is one player that won’t be returning to the Falcons — Tony Gonzalez. After 17 seasons, he will be walking away from the game of football. This leaves a big hole in the Falcons offense as he was Matt Ryan‘s most reliable receiver, scoring 33 touchdowns in the red zone.
Looking at the tight end free agents, there isn’t much to choose from. Dennis Pitta signed a five-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens and Jimmy Graham was franchise tagged by the New Orleans Saints. The other top names, Jermichael Finley, Brandon Pettigrew, Fred Davis and Dustin Keller are all older veterans who have had their fair share of injuries.
Unless the Falcons draft a tight end this year, there will have to settle with Levine Toilolo. However, that may not be a bad thing. The rookie tight end started five games while Gonzalez was hurt. In those five games, he caught 11 passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns.
Toilolo comes in at 6-foot-8 and 265 pounds, which is the perfect size for a tight end. He caught 10 touchdowns in his final two seasons in college and should be used in jump-ball situations in the end zone.
The second-year tight end is not close to being fantasy relevant in standard leagues. As of right now, Toilolo is nothing more than a tight sleeper as a TE3. He’ll get a bump in the rankings if the Falcons avoid selecting a tight end in the draft, which would make Toilolo the de facto No. 1 guy.