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Joyce’s Atlanta Falcons Roster Predictions: Tight Ends

Photo: Keith Allison- https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

The Atlanta Falcons, along with the rest of the NFL, will have to finalize their 53-Man rosters by Saturday September 5 at 4 p.m. ET. This means that many of the players fighting for a roster spot will be sent home or signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers. In this series, I will do a breakdown of each of the Falcons positions and what they may look like entering the September 5 deadline.

For more content:

Predictions for final cuts: QB [2] | RB [5] | WR [6] | TE [3] | OL [9] | DL [9] | LB [5] | DB [6] | S [4] | SPT [3]

Above you find all the final roster projections for the upcoming final cut to be made on September 5. Here let’s take a look at the Tight Ends:

Rundown:

Fresh Start: Coming out of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens took two of the best tight ends in the entire draft in Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews. Ozzie Newsome, Baltimore GM, took Hurst based upon his athletic and natural pass catching abilities in hopes that he would help lead the Ravens’ new offense. While Hurst never took off in his two years, Mark Andrews did last season catching 64 passes for 854 yards and 10 touchdowns. Having multiple good tight ends is never a problem, but Baltimore decided to trade Hurst to Atlanta along with a fourth-round pick for a second and fifth round pick. Atlanta was desperate for a tight end after not being able to re-sign Austin Hooper. Atlanta is hoping to use Hurst’s athletic ability in a pass happy offense under Dirk Koetter.

An old friend comes back: On August 14, the Falcons decided to bring back blocking tight end Luke Stocker. The nine-year veteran played 15 games, starting nine, for the Falcons with eight receptions for 53 yards. Stocker won’t put up a ton of receiving numbers because he’s used more as a blocker in the run and pass game.

High upside: Jaeden Graham is entering his third season in Atlanta following signing as an undrafted free agent in the 2018 NFL Draft. His first season was spent on the practice squad, but Graham did play well when Austin Hooper missed three games. During those games Graham caught nine passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. The Falcons are hoping these are a sign of things to come for Graham, but he has a long way to go.

History:

  • 2017: three tight ends
  • 2018: three tight ends
  • 2019: three tight ends

Guarantees:

  • Hayden Hurst
  • Jaeden Graham

Fighting for a Spot:

  • Luke Stocker
  • Jared Pinkney
  • Khari Lee

Final Projection:

Like the wide receivers, the Falcons have been consistent with the number of tight ends they keep on this roster. With that in mind, I believe they will keep the same number again. The Falcons traded a second-round pick for Hurst hoping his athletic talent can shine in a pass happier offense. Graham and Stocker both offer different abilities, but both offer familiarity in the Falcons offense. At the end of the day, I believe these three will make the final roster:

  • Hayden Hurst
  • Luke Stocker
  • Jaeden Graham

I do, however, hope the Falcons can add Jared Pinkney to the practice squad if he doesn’t make the team. Pinkney performed well for Vanderbilt, including a 50 catch, 774 yard, and seven touchdowns season his junior year. He could be a wild card for Atlanta.

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  1. Pingback: Joyce's Atlanta Falcons Roster Predictions: Defensive Backs | SkullKing Sports

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