Mel Kiper has the Falcons pursuing Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert. Here is his explanation:
“If all the begging pays off, and Tony Gonzalez does in fact return in 2013, the presence of Eifert would still be valuable. If Gonzalez is back, you add a player that can contribute immediately, who can be moved all over the formation and along with Julio Jones and Roddy White, cause matchup problems for defenses in multiple ways. If Gonzalez does come back, Eifert gets a year to learn from the master, and contribute plenty in the mean time. The Falcons do need help with the pass rush, but it would be hard to pass on Eifert at this spot with the presumption that Gonzalez is headed for retirement.”
I think taking Eifert would be a solid pick; however, I can’t help but think back to Atlanta’s nonexistent pass rush throughout the postseason. If Gonzalez does indeed decide to hang it up, I would have no concerns with Atlanta snagging Eifert. But if Tony decides to return for one more ride, I think it would make more sense to pursue a solid pass rusher in the first round and address a tight end later on.
Todd McShay has the Falcons going after a different pass-catcher: Zach Ertz out of Stanford. McShay notes:
“Future Hall of Fame TE Tony Gonzalez has announced he will retire, and Ertz is the top-rated tight end on our board. He doesn’t have elite speed, but he is a good athlete who knows how to separate from coverage, and can make tough catches over his head and in traffic.”
No shocker here. We all know it’s not in McShay’s DNA to agree with Kiper on picks, so McShay decided to slate in Ertz, who is almost a duplicate of Eifert in my opinion. Overall, I think Ertz would be a solid first, but again, what about the pass rush?
It’s very early. We still have a little more than two months before the draft arrives so I expect a lot of changes from now til’ then. I am anxious to see if either of these prospects will be able to separate themselves in the combine and while hosting their pro days.