It was an easy reaction to say that Levine Toilolo will take Tony Gonzalez‘s place once he retires from the game of football. I’m sure that was a thought that ran through the mind of many Atlanta Falcons‘ fans on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft. Toilolo was the last selection in the fourth round to Atlanta, going 133rd overall.
So while it’s natural to see a tight end go to the Falcons in the middle of the draft, and think that he will replace Gonzalez, it’s also jumping to a conclusion. The reality, is that Toilolo was the No. 2 tight end at Stanford, playing with the highly touted Zach Ertz. For his career, Toilolo only had 50 receptions, for 763 yards, while playing for the Cardinal.
He did add 10 touchdowns over his career as well, but with the 6’8″, 260 pound tight end, it’s all about potential. We’re talking about a massive TE, who first and foremost, will be a big help as a blocker. Just with his frame and the solid coaching he received in college, Toilolo should be effective right away in the blocking game.
He has potential as a pass-catcher too, but the Falcons won’t be counting on him to catch a whole lot of balls in his rookie season.
I’m sure most Falcons’ fans realize this guy is more of a project, than a sure thing, but I’m sure there are still some that will expect him to be the next Tony Gonzalez. Any direct comparisons to the best TE ever, are completely unfair to the young tight end. Fans simply need to view him for what he is. He could very well be a good NFL tight end someday, but for now, he’ll be a student learning from one of the all-time greats.
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