NFL Mock Draft 2013: Replacing Tony Gonzalez

Harry How

Draft experts don't all agree on who the Falcons may select in the first round, but many believe they will address the tight end position.

Tony Gonzalez is unlikely to be fully replaced if he retires, but the 2013 NFL Draft offers up an opportunity to at least find a prospect that mimics his combination of size, athleticism, and pass-catching ability. Many mock draft pundits believe that the Atlanta Falcons will use their first round pick to fill the void that the retiring superstar might leave.

Todd McShay at ESPN believes Atlanta will pick Stanford tight end Zach Ertz with the 30th overall pick. Charles Davis and Gil Brandt of NFL.com agree with that prognostication. Ertz led the Cardinal in receiving his senior year, grabbing 69 passes for 898 yards and six touchdowns. He showed his athletic ability at the combine, running his 40-yard dash in the 4.6/4.7 range.

Not all agree that the Falcons will go with a tight end. SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn believes that Atlanta will add to the defensive line by grabbing Florida State rush end Tank Carradine. Fairburn believes that Carradine is the best pass rusher in the class and will fall to the Falcons because of injury concerns:

Tank Carradine said he will be able to run through a full workout for NFL teams prior to April's draft. If that happens and all goes well, Carradine will be a first round pick. Without concerns over the torn ACL he suffered in April, Carradine is the best pass rusher in this class. Atlanta will be in the market for a defensive end this offseason.

As for the rest of the NFL.com panel, Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah have completely different ideas on which direction Atlanta will go. Brooks believes the Falcons will pick Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, while Jeremiah has the team selecting cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson out of Connecticut.

More in the NFL:

NFL Mock Draft: New names rising in first round

NFL defenses are changing, too

Free agency rumors: Dolphins target Mike Wallace

Uffsides: Von Miller talks with SB Nation

The NFL's disappearing middle class

NFL news: Roger Goodell terrified, Shawne Merriman retires and the latest on free agency

In This Article

Players

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.