Atlanta Falcons could find a surprise contributor in John FitzPatrick
By Nick Halden
The Atlanta Falcons did a great job with their final two selections in the draft picking two players not only who have a chance to make the roster but will have a chance to make a surprising impact. Offensive guard Justin Shaffer has already been mentioned as a surprise starter and contributor for the Falcons.
Atlanta’s final selection, however, is being somewhat overlooked due to his lack of production in college. Former Georgia tight end John FitzPatrick finished his college career with only 200-career receiving yards, however, he still managed to become a late-round selection.
FitzPatrick was drafted not for his receiving abilities but due to the 6’7 250-pound frame that allowed him to be a huge impact blocker for Georgia. Whether it was a blitzing defensive end or helping set the edge for the rushing attack FitzPatrick made many impactful blocks at the highest level in college showing an ability Atlanta is sorely lacking.
FitzPatrick is not only going to make the team due to this skillset but will become a surprise contributor. His blocking ability and the advantage his height gives him in the secondary will allow him to make the roster and contribute to the tight-end position. Kyle Pitts and Anthony Firkser should head into the season as the starters with John FitzPatrick and Parker Hesse competing for the third tight-end role.
Atlanta struggled in their run blocking and in pass protection something FitzPatrick can help improve while giving the team a potential mismatch any time he is on the field. While he is unlikely to ever become a top target there is plenty of reason to think FitzPatrick can be an impactful player in year one for a team that badly needs to improve their ability to protect the passer and set up the run game. FitzPatrick is a great addition and a perfect fit who should be given the chance to play a surprising role in year one.