This weekend 46 players will head to Flowery Branch to take part in the Atlanta Falcons rookie camp. Jay Adams has the full list for you here. I touched on the "drafted" rookies previously and we also sought outside perspectives on Peter Konz, Bradie Ewing and Travian Robertson. Make sure you check out the piece Zach wrote earlier this week about a few undrafted free agents that he thought had the best chance to make the team. Falcons beat writer D Orlando Ledbetter recently updated his depth chart and the tight end position really stands out as a position that lacks depth.
Does he have the moves to make the squad?
We have Tony Gonzalez as the starter. He's a no-brainer future Hall of Famer. Number two on the depth chart is Michael Palmer. In two years, Palmer has just 15 receptions and 2 touchdowns. I like Palmer but he's doesn't exactly have the position locked down. After Palmer, the fight for the third tight end spot (provided the team holds onto three on the main roster) is a crapshoot. The Falcons could go the veteran route like they did last year with Reggie Kelly or they could go with one of the younger guys that they have that are jockeying for position behind Gonzalez.
Here's a list of who D Led has on the depth chart after Palmer:
Tomy Gallarda is a second year player from Boise State who spent some time on the Falcons practice squad in 2011. In college, his best season was as a junior when he had nine receptions and four touchdowns.
Marquez Branson played his college ball at Central Arkansas and has spent time on the Falcons practice squad twice.
LaMark Brown played wide receiver and running back at college as he went to Kansas State and then transferred to Minnesota State. D Led has him listed as a tight end. He's 6'3", 225 lbs.
Adam Nissley was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida. His best year at UCF was last year, his senior season, as he grabbed 21 balls and scored one touchdown.
That list is not exactly a who's who of tight ends. Is there a diamond in the rough in that group? Possibly, but what about former Georgia Bulldogs tight end Aron White. White played behind Orson Charles at Georgia and sat around in the days during and after the draft waiting for his phone to ring. Aron's name was not called and his phone didn't ring until the Falcons called and invited him to"tryout" at their rookie camp.
Playing behind Charles, White didn't exactly light up the stat line but he did accumulate 34 career receptions and 10 career touchdowns. In his career, he caught a touchdown almost three out of every time times he caught the ball. As a senior he had just nine receptions but four of them went for scores (he was the only one to score a touchdown for Georgia in the SEC Championship game against LSU).
Off the field, Aron had a lot of success at Georgia and we know how Thomas Dimitroff values character. White was a member of the 2011 Allstate American Football Coaches Associate Good Works Team, he was named to the SEC Academic Honor roll every year he was at Georgia, he graduated in 2010 and was chosen as student commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremony for which he graduated. I could continue but you get my point.
White definitely has the will to make a NFL team. We will find out this weekend (only by word of mouth because fans aren't invited to the Falcons rookie mini camp) if White can turn a "tryout" into a potential roster spot.