Falcons 2020 Year End Review: Tight Ends

2020, from start to finish, wasn’t the year any of us wanted. In purely NFL terms, the Atlanta Falcons had as poor a year as they’ve had in recent history. The players fell flat on their face immediately after leaving the starting gate, the long time General Manager and Head Coach duo were unceremoniously moved on mid-season, and the team ended the season with their highest draft pick since 2008. It was a mess.

With the season over, it’s time to dissect that mess. As we face an uncertain new future, let’s take one last look back at the season, so see if there’s anything positive we can take into the new regime. So, join me as we sift through the awful to, hopefully, find little nuggets of good.

Hayden Hurst – C-
Luke Stocker – D-
Jaeden Graham – D-

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The addition of Hayden Hurst was supposed to see a seamless transition to him from former TE1, Austin Hooper. In reality, the Falcons saw a dip in total yards, total catches, and total catch percentage (571, 56, 63.6% from 787, 75, 77.3%) in the move between the pair. Granted, Hurst ended 2020 with as many touchdowns as Hooper in 2019, but the transition hasn’t been as smooth as many hoped.

Hurst ended the season with the 4th most yards in Atlanta. He also ended the season with the best numbers of his career. That is absolutely a positive. Another offseason, and being introduced to a more tight end friendly scheme under Arthur Smith should increase his overall production. With two seasons left on his rookie contract, he’ll hope to make a big impression in 2021. In 2020, though, he was just fine.

Behind him, though. Woof. Luke Stocker ended up being the de facto TE2, hauling in 7 receptions to the tune of 63 yards, while the promising Jaeden Graham ended with 3 catches for 25 yards. Neither scored a touchdown, and neither was particularly good. Both will hope that the aforementioned TE friendly scheme will bring a brighter 2021, but both players ought to be concerned as to whether they’ll be in the building when it comes around.

Featured Image Credit: Todd Kirkland – Getty Images

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