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Hooper Among NFC South's Biggest Draft Bargains

The Falcons addressed a key need in the third round of last month's draft, where they selected tight end Austin Hooper. According to's Chase Goodbread, tabbing the reliable pass-catcher at No. 81 overall was among the five best bargain picks in the NFC South.

"Atlanta gets a legit receiving threat here who can get downfield and do more than just move the chains," Goodbread wrote. "Coming from a pro-style offense, his transition from Stanford's playbook to the Falcons' should be a fairly easy one. He'll get every opportunity to make a difference as an added weapon for Matt Ryan."

In addition to his experience in the Cardinals' system, Hooper's ceiling makes him a great value pick in the third round. It's important to remember that he entered the draft following his redshirt sophomore campaign. Had he remained at Stanford for another year or two, he would have been able to improve his stock considerably before going pro.

He didn't want to delay his inevitable move to the pros, however. That decision should help the Falcons long-term, and if he develops the way Atlanta's coaches envision, a lot of teams will regret passing on the skilled tight end.

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