General manager Thomas Dimitroff has found another gem for the Atlanta Falcons’ offense. Stanford tight-end Levine Toilolo was a steal in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft. The Falcons got a player who will immediately be a red zone threat for Matt Ryan. Toilolo can also be the replacement to the greatest tight end in NFL history, Tony Gonzalez.
When the Falcons are in the red zone, it will be hard for opposing defenses to find enough players to cover Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Toilolo. Not only is Toilolo a red-zone threat because he is the tallest tight end in the league at 6’8, but he also has a 31-inch vertical.
With Toilolo’s size and vertical, it will be virtually impossible for a corner back to out-jump Toilolo on a red zone fade. An astounding 20% of Toilolo’s 50 career catches in college went for touchdowns. It would not be surprising if Toilolo had around ten touchdowns his rookie season.
Like Dimitroff’s old employer, the New England Patriots, the Falcons will be able to run two tight end sets without giving up much in the passing game. Having another big body in the red zone will also help new running back Steven Jackson pound the ball into the end zone.
Getting to learn the nuances of the tight end position, from future hall of famer Tony Gonzalez, will only help Toilolo become a better player in the NFL. With another offensive weapon for Matt Ryan, there is no telling how far these Falcons can go this season.
Jorge Contreras is an Oakland Raiders writer for RantSports.com. Follow Jorge on Twitter @jraycontreras