NFL Combine 2012 Preview: Ladarius Green, Atlanta's Tight End Of The Future?

Don't get me wrong: I love Orson Charles and think he's a great tight end.

But for Atlanta's purposes, Louisiana-Lafayette's Ladarius Green makes much more sense for the Falcons in the long run. While Charles is a little undersized for a tight end (6'3, 242), Green has the height and frame (6'6, 237) to really become a matchup problem over the middle.

Green projects to roughly somewhere in the third round of this year's draft, and the Falcons have already reportedly shown interest in D-II tight end. If given a year to sit and learn from the great Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons could have an outstanding weapon for many years to come.

Ladarius Green scouting report

Green is certainly a less refined prospect than UGA's Charles, but I'd also argue that Green has the higher ceiling of the two. The biggest knock against Charles that I know of has been his blocking, and this is where Green has the upper hand in terms of ability.

Other than that, both prospects are very similar on paper. Both run a 4.64, both have proven themselves to be great pass-catching threats (Green averaged 18.0 yards per catch in 2010) and both can make something happen in the open field.

But most draft experts project Charles as a second-round pick, while Green seems firmly entrenched as a third or even fourth-round selection. With more pressing needs on the offensive line, the Falcons could address that position first and then draft Green as the team's future tight end. And even with some pretty lousy QB play at LLU, this guy still has wheels:

Ladarius Green vs SDSU 2011 "New Orleans Bowl" (via JMPasq)

For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic. For everything NFL Draft-relating, head on over to Mocking The Draft.

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