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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Falcons should look to replace Tony Gonzalez, says one analyst

The future Hall of Fame tight end is likely calling it quits after the season, especially if the Falcons win it all. Who could even begin to fill those shoes?

Ezra Shaw

The Atlanta Falcons are still alive for the Super Bowl, but it's never too early for some to start looking ahead to the draft. I'm sure that all the Falcons are worried about is winning another game under head coach Mike Smith in the playoffs, but no matter when their run ends, they will need to do some drafting in April. If Tony Gonzalez retires as planned, then there's at least one position that's immediately got an opening.

Dane Brugler of CBS Sports thinks that person might be the fast-rising Stanford tight end Zach Ertz:

Ertz is a tough, reliable pass catcher who should be able to fill the shoes of Gonzalez.

The underclassman has made some remarkable catches for the Cardinal this season and is the top rated tight end in the draft by many analysts. Ertz led Stanford with 69 catches for 898 yards and six touchdowns.

For Atlanta, they could possibly see Gonzalez leave but immediately have his replacement and not have to change up the offense all that much.

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