As was stated earlier, the Atlanta Falcons have players on both sides of the ball, and two of their core players play along the offensive line.
Despite numerous camp battles, Hooper heads into the preseason as the number one option at tight end. And for good reason as Hooper finished last season with 526 yards and scored three touchdowns. You can make the argument that one of Hooper’s catches was the result of a blown coverage against the Chicago Bears that resulted in an 88 yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan. And thus his stats might be a little padded. After a promising week one performance that saw Hooper post 1 touchdown pass and 128 yards receiving, he posted fewer than 400 receiving yards and 2 touchdown passes the rest of the year.Hooper’s route running and a case of the drops attributed to his poor production afterwards. However, Hooper has laid the foundation in order to have a very productive season. He showed enough burst to create separation from linebackers and safeties over the top. He did an adequate job of shielding defenders from the pass and posting them up in space.
The chemistry between he and Matt Ryan has shown growth as we head into the next few preseason games. That chemistry will be key if the Falcons want to add another weapon to their potent offense that seemed to stall in the red zone. Hopefully he can take on a larger role in the offense.