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Todd McShay projects Zach Ertz to Falcons

ESPN's Todd McShay's first mock draft has the Falcons taking Stanford tight end Zach Ertz to replace the retiring Tony Gonzalez.

Ezra Shaw

ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay released his first mock draft earlier this week, and he is projecting the Atlanta Falcons will select Stanford tight end Zach Ertz in the first round. The Falcons could be in the market for a new receiving tight end as Tony Gonzalez approaches the end of his career. Gonzalez has said that he will retire at the end of the 2012 season.

The 6'6, 252 pound junior led the Cardinal with 66 receptions this season, more than double the number of catches for the player in second place. He's racked up 837 receiving yards and six touchdowns this year, all while dealing with breaking in two new quarterbacks this season following the departure of Andrew Luck.

For his career, Ertz has 109 receptions for 1373 yards and 15 touchdowns. He and his Stanford teammates will take on the Wisconsin Badgers on New Years Day in the Rose Bowl.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.