Imagine what the Falcons could look like with a tight end who could do what Tony Gonzalez did—someone who would also want to run block and stretch the seam in the middle of the field to keep safeties honest. Say hello to Jace Amaro. He’s someone who the Falcons need to target early in the draft.
It’s already been reported by Adam Caplan that Amaro has worked out with the Falcons. Draft day is still a long way away, but when it comes to who the best possible options are for the Falcons’ second-round pick, Amaro tops the list.
Texas Tech University
Combine/Pro Day Measurements
Height: 6'5-3/8" Weight: 265 pounds
Arm Length: 34" Hand Measurement: 9"
40 yard dash: 4.60 sec. 10 yard split: 1.64 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 4.30 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.42 sec. Bench Reps: 28 reps
Vertical Jump: 33.0" Broad Jump: 9'10"
2013: 13 Games Played, 106 Catches, 1,352 Yards, 7 Touchdowns, 2 Tackles
2012: 7 Games Played, 25 Catches, 409 Yards, 4 Touchdowns
2011: 12 Games Played, 7 Catches, 57 Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 2 Tackles
While Amaro played primarily out of the slot as a college student, he showed enough willingness as a blocker to play in-line. However, his real strength comes from his ability to make tough catches. He understands how to use his athleticism to create separation.
There are few linebackers in college who have shown the ability to keep up with him. Add in his precise route running and high-level hands, and you have a legitimate star in the making. Amaro was extremely productive at Texas Tech.
There is a difference between being willing and being able. So while Amaro shows he wants to block, he has a long way to go before he is even an average blocker at the NFL level. He also doesn’t have the top end speed to blow the top off of a defense.
Additionally, he doesn’t fight for the ball as much as he should. He needs to be more aggressive and learn how to box out defenders the way Tony Gonzalez used to. If he can do that, he could be a true force to be reckoned with on a Jimmy Graham level.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Amaro had a poor judgment situation as a sophomore where he wound up being arrested for felony credit card fraud. However, when you look further into the situation, it looks more like an instance where the card was borrowed from a teammate and then reported as missing. He was suspended for this situation.
While this was stupid, it’s not something that the Falcons should take him off the board for. Amaro also was never a captain for the Red Raiders. He is an explosive athlete, though, and would give Atlanta a unique piece to add to the intermediate passing game. Atlanta has the locker room to support him.
Amaro is a bit of an unrefined product as a pure tight end. But as an offensive weapon, he’s extremely valuable. He can stretch a seam effectively and needs more than just a single safety, cornerback or linebacker to neutralize him.
He’s a starting tight end from day one and will cost someone at least an early second-round pick if not a late first-round pick. Whoever selects him needs to make sure that they use him properly and as more than just an in-line tight end—especially since his best value is out of the slot.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
The Falcons will have to spend their second-round pick or even trade up into the latter part of the first round if they want to bring in Amaro. It would be a wise move as he would be the instant starter at tight end and can play both in-line and as a joker.
A Falcons offense with Amaro, Levine Toilolo, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Devin Hester, Steven Jackson, Harry Douglas and Jacquizz Rodgers would have a ton of different looks and passing options that they could show due to having a competent starting caliber tight end in the offense.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.