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Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart Preview: Tight End

Look around the NFL and you're bound to see several teams living on borrowed time with at least one position. This is what happens when an organization has a stellar veteran starter, but no suitable replacement waiting in the wings. For the Atlanta Falcons this is typified by their tight ends, led by the seemingly ageless Tony Gonzalez.

There were several ways the Falcons could approach the 2nd round. After sureing up their secondary by trading fort Asante Samuel, and bringing John Abraham back into the fold there was an each-way bet that Atlanta would either look for an offensive lineman, or find a young TE they could groom to replace the now 36 year old Gonzalez. The front office made the right choice with Peter Konz, but to Matt Ryan there are few things more important than having a good TE. Since arriving in Atlanta he's been the safety net for Ryan, and a reliable constant. One simply doesn't replace Gonzalez overnight, and as such they're still looking for a replacement.

Good news first: There aren't many TEs in the NFL better than him, even at 36. Last season Gonzalez totaled 875 yards and 7 TDs- a season that ranks in the upper third of his years as a pro. He's still athletic enough to play in the NFL, still has fantastic hands, and run routes well enough to still make linebackers look foolish.

Now the bad news: The depth behind him is pretty bad. It's likely Michael Palmer will win the backup job, but he's a stop-gap solution at best. The Falcons don't have many depth issues, but the one glaring one they have is at tight end. Should Gonzalez miss any games they're in real trouble, but thankfully he's pretty good at staying healthy.

Rest assured the front office will deal with this problem. The 2013 draft is shaping up to have a few really solid TEs, and there's no doubt Atlanta will wait another year to really find Gonzalez's replacement.

Projected Depth Chart

Tony Gonzalez/ Michael Palmer

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