The Falcons have added TE John FitzPatrick to their roster with the No. 213 selection of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Atlanta was in need of a little more depth at tight end after Hayden Hurst left in free agent and Lee Smith retired. FitzPatrick will join fellow Georgia graduate Justin Shaffer after the Falcons took the offensive lineman the pick before. The rookie tight end is also the third player the Falcons have drafted who's hometown is Atlanta or the greater Atlanta area. OLB DeAngelo Malone and Shaffer graduated from Cedar Grove High School. FitzPatrick from Marist.
Kyle Pitts will return for his second year in the league following a historic rookie year. The Falcons also brought in Anthony Firkser in free agency, signing the tight end to a one-year deal.
Learn more about the new Falcons tight end right here:
2021 Stats: Seven games | six catches | 83 yards | 13.8 yards per catch
Instant analysis: FitzPatrick isn't the flashy tight end. He's the guy who does the dirty work. He's your blocking tight end. Remember what Smith was for the Falcons? That's what FitzPatrick was for Georgia. Brock Bowers and Kyle Pitts? They bring the flash, the lightening. FitzPatrick and Smith? They're the thunder.
"A force in the run game," he said of his play style. "If you're looking to advance your run game, I'm the guy. And I'm going to do it as soon as I step into the building."
With playmakers all around him in Georgia's national championship winning offense, FitzPatrick was as understated as they come. But he was very important to the overall offensive success. He's a niche player, but one who could have value in Arthur Smith's scheme.
What's next: That'll do it for the Falcons in this 2022 NFL Draft. They're out of picks, but far from done making acquisitions. They'll be working the phones trying to secure undrafted free agents from now through the night and weekend, creating depth and training camp competition. The Falcons added a receiver, a quarterback, two edge rushers, an interior linebacker, a guard, a tight end and a running back.
More about John: The 6-foot-7, 250-pound tight end played in 38 games, 13 starts, over four years at Georgia logging 17 catches for 200 yards (11.8 yards per catch) with one touchdown. Primarily used as an inline, blocking tight end, FitzPatrick was a key part of a Bulldogs offense that averaged 443.1 yards of total offense per game, 191.2 rushing yards per game, and ranked ninth in the nation in scoring offense in 2021. He posted six catches for 83 yards last year and played through injuries to help Georgia to a 13-1 record and a national title.
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