I know I may seem high on all aspects of the Falcons offense this year, but I have to say, the tight end position is no exception. Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez is still going strong at age 36, finishing the 2011 season with 875 yards and 7 touchdowns–his best numbers in 3 years–and earning his 12th trip to the Pro Bowl. He also became the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver with 1,149 career receptions. Despite holding almost every tight end record in the NFL, Tony Gonzalez is ranked 8th among TEs and 105th overall. I’ve never one been to take a tight end early the draft, and Tony Gonzalez certainly proves that you can afford to wait and still end up with a consistent, productive tight end. How productive? The most in the history of the NFL. Gonzalez is the first tight end in history, and only the 13th player period, with over 13,000 receiving yards. He also holds a tight end record with 95 touchdowns.
With Julio Jones and Roddy White stretching the field this season, I certainly don’t see Gonzalez’s productivity dropping off in 2012. If anything, this arsenal of wide receivers may leave Gonzalez open for even more opportunity and red zone targets. Besides going off just sheer numbers, there’s another reason I feel Tony Gonzalez is in for another record setting season. It’s rumored that Gonzalez is “95% sure” he will retire after this season. Matt Ryan and the Falcons will want to get him the ball. If this is in fact his last season, they will want to make it one to remember.