In a nice bit of local football symmetry, Georgia TE Orson Charles, one of the top prospects at the position in the 2012 NFL Draft, has been linked to the Atlanta Falcons in pre-draft discussions.
And while Atlanta still has Tony Gonzalez manning the position, Charles said he would have no problem learning the ropes from someone like the future Hall of Famer:
Orson Charles said he'd be fine with not starting right away. Said he'd love go learn from someone like Tony Gonzalez— Will Brinson (@willbrinson) February 23, 2012
Gonzalez, at 35 years old, is winding down and there's no better safety blanket for a young QB like Matt Ryan than a TE he can count on to get open on third down.
However, the Falcons have spent heavily on surrounding Ryan with offensive weapons in the last few years, giving up this year's No. 1 pick as part of the Julio Jones trade.