Atlanta Falcons Release Veteran Tight End

Luke Stocker

getty Luke Stocker #80 of the Atlanta Falcons makes a tackle.

The Atlanta Falcons are not letting this coronavirus stop them from continuing to make business moves. The team announced on Monday the release of multiple players including veteran tight end Luke Stocker.

Stocker is a versatile player that the Falcons are looking for but they’re on a mission to make room for cap space and new, younger players between free agency and the NFL Draft.

Stocker’s Falcons Career

Out of the University of Tennessee, Stocker was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Stocker, 31, was signed by Atlanta during the 2019 offseason. He added depth and versatility as a tight end. He could play out of a traditional tight end spot on the line or as a pseudo-fullback coming out of the backfield. Stocker gave the offense options.

He played in 15 games and made nine starts during his first season as a Falcon and caught eight passes for 53 yards as a member.

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Starting Tight End?

The Falcons starting tight end Austin Hooper is reportedly headed to the Browns and that’s where he says he wants to be unless he gets a better offer. Right now, the Falcons have Jaeden Graham as their most experienced tight end on the roster.

Graham has shown a lot of energy and talent each time he’s had to step in for Hooper. Matt Ryan told AtlantaFalcons.com last season that he has a lot of confidence in Graham as a target.

“I have a lot of confidence in Jaeden Graham,” Ryan said. “He’s done a nice job for us at different points this season when his number has been called he’s made plays for us. He’s always well prepared week in and week out, he’s ready to go. I have full confidence when he gets his chance if those guys can’t go, he’s going to do a great job for us.”

If the Falcons focus on developing him then they can save some money in the draft at the tight end position. Ya know since this team is all about saving money with every single move they make.

Trade For Hayden Hurst

Like I said earlier, the Falcons are doing a lot this Monday and have clutched Hayden Hurst at the tight end position. Between him and Graham, the Falcons should be just fine at the target position.

Hurst, 26, was drafted out of the University of South Carolina by the Ravens as the 25th-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Hurst spent two seasons as a Raven. He caught a total of 43 passes for 512 yards and three touchdowns. Hurst earned a 72.4 grade from Pro Football Focus for his play after the 2019 season, which ranked 14th among all NFL tight ends.

The Falcons OC Dirk Koeter runs an offense that is very tight end friendly, so Hurst will get a lot of action and get a lot of chances to become a playmaker.

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