Atlanta Falcons: Jaeden Graham Should Be the Backup Tight End

Atlanta Falcons, Jaeden Graham (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Jaeden Graham (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons, Luke Stocker #80 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons signed Luke Stocker in the offseason to be the team’s backup tight end. However, after a disappointing start for Stocker, Jaeden Graham should be elevated to number two on the depth chart.

The Atlanta Falcons seemed to shore up the backup tight end position by signing Luke Stocker away from the Tennessee Titans. The ten-year veteran has a reputation for being a great blocking tight end.

Last season Luke Stocker graded as the number six tight end in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. The grade was mostly due to his work as a blocker with him earning a grade of 77.9 as a pass blocker and 66.6 as run blocker.

Luke was targeted just 21 times all of last season, but he was efficient catching 15 passes for 165 yards. He also found the end zone twice and was awarded a grade of 77.8 as a receiver.

When Stocker was acquired, I personally applauded the signing. Unfortunately, things just have not worked out as the team or I envisioned.

The Struggles of Luke Stocker

Luke Stocker was abysmal this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the lowest graded player on the Atlanta Falcons offense with a microscopic grade of 29.4.

Stocker missed multiple blocks in the run game, that ruined opportunities to gain valuable yardage. Even more egregious is the fact that he fumbled away his only reception of the game. Fortunately, the Atlanta Falcons were able to recover the miscue.

Stocker wasn’t much better in the Atlanta Falcons season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He received an overall grade of just 46.7, with a run-blocking grade of 49.4.

To make matters worse, Luke Stocker was at fault on one of Matt Ryan’s interceptions in the loss. He failed to reach the back pylon of the end zone on a corner route, allowing the pass to be picked off. Stocker has been targeted just two times this season, with the results being an interception and a fumble.