In fact, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, instead of Franks repping a QB red jersey at OTAs, there have been times when has been wearing white and getting reps in with the tight ends.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Franks playing at tight end.
The Falcons first tried to use Kyle Pitts to block during the game but ultimately decided to put him back to his pass-catching duties and throw Franks in. At 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, Franks isn’t too far off in size from Pitts, who measures 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds––thus he has the size and speed to block.
“We like what he’s doing at quarterback, but we think athletically there may be something he can give us at other positions,” Smith said in a presser following the Falcons’ win over New York in 2021.
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Could Franks Be the Next Taysom Hill?
Smith putting a QB at tight end is nothing new since the New Orleans Saints are well-known to do it with backup quarterback Taysom Hill.
Can Franks be the next Hill? Only time will tell, according to Smith.
“Certainly it’s worth trying, you know,” Smith added after Franks’ NFL debut at TE. “The opportunity, he played a couple snaps at different spots and we’ll see if it grows and we’ve got to evaluate that but yeah, he’s a hell of an athlete.”
There have been plenty of quarterbacks that have played multiple roles including Washington’s Logan Thomas and Jordan Reed, Bears’ Trey Burton and Chiefs’ Blake Bell. But Hill is the only one who has impressed Smith so far.
“New Orleans kind of set the stage for everybody and everybody’s been looking for that type and you see some people trying, too. You know, situational football, they may got a running quarterback on the roster, they put them out there, but they’re all in that role. Taysom is the only guy that I’ve seen that truly can play multiple spots.”
Franks Is All In on Being Valuable
The Falcons have their top two QBs in Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder but that doesn’t mean Franks isn’t done working out at quarterback.
“I’m about whatever I can do to help,” Franks told Falcons’ Digital Managing Editor Scott Bair on Thursday, June 9. “It was more about adding more value for myself in the quarterback and tight end room. For me, it’s about being able to do more things, at tight end and quarterback and on special teams. I’ll do whatever.”
Franks is very familiar with the QB position after playing in the role for the Arkansas Razorbacks and Florida Gators, so he’s focusing a bit more at tight end as OTAs come to an end.
“I really want to learn what I’m being asked to do,” Franks said. “With the tight ends, I really want to understand what they’re doing so I’m not missing anything. I don’t want to do too much at one time. So, learning that position, and obviously in the quarterback room, I’m staying on top of that. I just want to be available for whatever they need.”
As a rookie, Franks played nine games, with three rushes for 6 yards in 2021. Hopefully, as he develops into a hybrid player he can see the field more in 2022.