Julio Jones, Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley get all the love on offense for the Atlanta Falcons, but there’s one person in particular who should get more of that love than he does.
Atlanta Falcons fan were spoiled for most of the last 15 years. First the Falcons had Alge Crumpler and then after his departure, they went and added the greatest tight end of all time in Tony Gonzales.
Gonzales could have played well into his 40’s in this offense, but he dediced to hang em up after the 2013 season. Since then, the Falcons have had Levine Toilolo, Bear Pascoe, Jacob Tamme, Tony Moeaki and a host of others. The Falcons were trying to find someone to help fill that void left by one of the greatest to ever it.
No one expected Austin Hooper to perform the way he has thus far in his career. However, Hooper has been able to produce and put up solid numbers as a fourth, sometimes fifth option. “Hoop” has always been a solid and dependable option for Ryan, especially as a third down over the middle of the field receiver while defenses focused on Julio, Ridley and Sanu.
The Falcons need to make Hooper a bigger part of the game plan and put the ball in his hands more often.
Last season Hoop put up some respectable numbers and ended up making his first pro bowl. He was fourth in the National Football League receptions by tight ends and seventh in yards. He accomplished this without ever being the primary target on offense.
Hooper is not only a pass catcher, he also has to help protect Matt Ryan and block for our running backs as well. Hooper is what you want in a tight end-well rounded and at 24 years of age, he still has room to grow.
It is not a stretch to say that Austin Hooper is one the best at his position in the NFL. After Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle, it’s all up for grabs. You want to add Eric Ebron and Kyle Rudolph in this as well, feel free, but I’m a believer in Austin Hooper and the Falcons need to continue to use him.