May 4, 2013; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo (80) shown on the field at Falcons Rookie Camp at the Falcons Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
As the dust continues to settle from the quake that was the 2013 NFL Draft, I will be taking a look at Atlanta’s ’13 Rookie Class, predicting the role they could (or should) have on the upcoming season. In the first segment of “Examining Roles”, I will be taking a look at Dimitroff’s 4th round selection: Levine Toilolo.
Coming out of High School, Toilolo was a standout as a athlete and a student. He attended Helix High; home to phenom athletes Reggie Bush and THE Steve Smith. He was recruited by universities such as Cal, UF, and Stanford, choosing in the end to attend Stanford along with one of 2008’s top QB prospects Andrew Luck. While Andrew’s collegiate career got off to an amazingly hot start, Toilolo’s was hampered with a leg and ACL injury. He was then relegated to a blocking role, but was still able to show off some of his athleticism from time-to-time. Levine ended his Stanford campaign with 50 receptions for 763 yards and 10 touchdowns; hardly a pro-caliber stat-stamp by NCAA standards. But, his stats don’t quite tell the story of what he could be capable of in the right surroundings.
At 6’8, 265 pounds, Toilolo is quite fleet-footed for a man of his weight and stature. He comes from a bloodline of pro athletes, the most notable being his uncle Edwin Mulitalo who earned a Super Bowl ring with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. He reminds me of Leonard Pope from UGA a few years back; Tall, atheletic with subpar hands and average blocking skills. As much as I like Levine, he seems like more of a ‘miss’ than a ‘hit’ prospect. He needs to work on his hands, route-running, and overall technique if he hopes to become a starting tight end in the NFL. I doubt he will get a lot of playing time his first year, but he will get to learn from one of the best to ever put on pads in Tony Gonzalez. It will be all about baby-steps for Toilolo…
I could see him getting a few snaps in the red-zone, as his height and jumping ability could pose mismatches for defenders. He could also be used in run-heavy formations as a extra blocker. Outside of that, most of his time will be spent riding the pine learning as much as he can from Chris Scelfo (TE’s coach) and Tony. I’m not looking for him to explode on the scene and I don’t think anybody else should either. This is a developmental year for Levine Toilolo, but I don’t think he could’ve been drafted into a better situation…
2013-14 season stats prediction