Once again, for the uninitiated, here is the scoring system I conceived for this endeavor.
The 32nd-ranked Falcons player is rookie tight end Levine Toilolo.
Total Score: 37
Player Grade: 48 out of 100
Teams he could start for: 1 out of 32
Teams he is best position player: 1 out of 32
Teams he could find role on: 8 out of 32
Peak-Year Bonus: +5
Positional Bonus: +3
Like the 33rd ranked player, Jonathan Massaquoi, Toilolo is untested. But he was an underrated tight end prospect from this past year’s class. He possesses good size, speed, and blocking potential. And he is helped by the fact that the Oakland Raiders tight end situation is so bad that he would likely enter the season atop their depth chart if he was donning the silver and black. As a player that also can function as a No. 2 blocker, he also could find a role on a quarter of teams league-wide.
Toilolo is going to be an interesting player to watch this year. The Falcons expect him to be the backup to Tony Gonzalez this year. His primary role will be to block in the run game. But unlike past Falcon backups like Michael Palmer, he actually has potential to impact in the passing game due to his physical tools. With his long 6-8 frame, he’ll be a tough matchup for opposing defenders.
But of course like every Falcon receiver not named Quintorris, Sharod, or Anthony, he’s probably going to struggle to get targets because of the three aforementioned players being so good. Even in Michael Palmer’s best season, he was only targeted 16 times. Even if Toilolo is able to double that, that likely only results in an upward potential of 20 catches this year.
Really it’s all about the long-term potential of Toilolo. He’ll be considered the first option in 2014 to replace Gonzalez. And the fact that he has the potential to impact as a blocker gives him added longevity in this league as even average blocking tight ends tend to have longer careers than your average receiving tight end. That means Toilolo could play for another decade in Atlanta. If you were asking me to place a bet on how that decade would be spent, I’d probably wager that it will be serving as a dual tight end akin to Ed Dickson in Baltimore. Dickson is primarily a blocker and occasionally a weapon in the passing game but is clearly outshined by Dennis Pitta in the latter arena. The difference is that I think from a physical standpoint, Toilolo has greater upside than Dickson, so I’m at least optimistic that he could become a key asset for the Falcons moving forward.