Levine Toilolo to Falcons: How Does TE Fit with Atlanta?
Levine Toilolo is now the Atlanta Falcons' heir to the starting tight end job, which will be vacated by Tony Gonzalez after the 2013 season is over.
He's a big tight end from Stanford who fits in well with the Falcons character profile. He's going to end up playing early for the Falcons and will have to develop into a long-term starter at tight end.
Toilolo was solid value at the end of the fourth round for the Falcons. He will fit in well in the Falcons locker room and should wind up getting a ton of playing time as a rookie. He will be brought in quite a bit in the red zone and should thrive there. Let's take a look at the Falcons newest tight end.
On the field
Levine Toilolo is a massive 6'8-1/8", 260-pound tight end who can block, get some separation in the red zone and catch. He's used to being the second tight end in the formation to a better talent.
He will fit in fine behind both Chase Coffman and Tony Gonzalez early and needs to learn the intricacies of the position for long-term success.
The bright side is that Toilolo has a ton of potential and can become a great tight end if he puts in the effort and can pick up what Gonzalez is teaching him. He's going to have to use his size better in both blocking and positioning in the passing game.
His hands are good, though, and if he gets open in the red zone, it's almost a guaranteed touchdown.
While he was stuck behind better tight ends at Stanford in Zach Ertz and Coby Fleener, he never complained about it and showed that he can be an asset as a second tight end in an offense instantly.
The Falcons will enjoy having the massive tight end on their line in running plays and could have a much more effective goal-line package due to his abilities in blocking and receiving.
Off the Field
The Atlanta Falcons need more players like Levine Toilolo off the field. He may not be the best player on it, but he's one of the hardest workers off of it. While he doesn't have the tight end position figured out the way he should just yet, working behind Tony Gonzalez will be a good influence on him both on and off the field because of how Gonzalez takes care of his body and studies the game.
Toilolo hasn't worried about being the No. 1 guy at tight end and hasn't seemed to care about how the Cardinal used him on the field, gladly taking the back seat to Coby Fleener and, later, Zach Ertz.
He just wants to do whatever he can to help the team he's on. This is exactly what Atlanta needs in the locker room as he's just a hard working player who makes sure he gets his opportunities.
While at Stanford, Toilolo won the Stanford football T.E.A.M. Technician Award—an award for "technique, effort, attitude and mental discipline." The Falcons were smart to bring in the big, hard-working Stanford talent.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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