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Spotlight: Orson Charles

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Each week, AtlantaFalcons.com’s Daniel Cox will highlight a player featured in the Mock Monitor, a collection of forecasted NFL Draft selections for the Falcons from numerous mock draft websites, helping Falcons fans get to know potential future Falcons on the road to the 2012 NFL draft in April.

One of the names that has popped on the AtlantaFalcons.com Mock Monitor is that of Georgia tight end Orson Charles.

With the Falcons’ first pick coming in the second round of the 2012 draft, draftniks seem to be targeting tight ends for the Falcons with their first pick, selecting players the team can use to groom behind Tony Gonzalez. Charles, a junior, is ranked as the third- or fourth-best tight end available in this year’s draft, behind Dwayne Allen of Clemson and Coby Fleener from Stanford.

To gather information on Charles, this week we turn to Scott Carasik, leader of the burgeoning draft website ScarDraft.com.

Carasik ranks Charles as the fourth-best tight end, including Louisiana-Lafayette’s Ladarius Green with Allen and Fleener ahead of him, but still speaks highly of the 6-foot-3, 241-pound pass catcher. He describes a player in the mold of the hybrid tight end that is becoming dominant in today’s NFL. Like many of those current TEs, Charles’ blocking prowess has room to improve.

“Charles has been a man among boys,” Carasik said. “He’s a good route runner and uses excellent body control. That being said, his inline blocking needs work. He’s a pure H-back at this point, and will be an excellent option in the passing game. He’s a strong guy, but needs to use much better leverage than he does.”

An All-SEC player after the 2011 season, Charles led Georgia with 572 receiving yards on 44 catches and five touchdowns. A starter of 23 games in a row, he’s the school’s all-time leader at tight end with 1,368 yards receiving and his 10 career touchdowns is tied with former Georgia tight end Leonard Pope for the most at the position. His 93 receptions is tied for third in the school’s history.

Carasik immediately compares Charles to New England’s Aaron Hernandez, a player that can line up all over the field and use his superior agility to make plays in a variety of ways. Chris Cooley, the Washington Redskins’ two-time Pro Bowl tight end, is another player that comes to mind for Carasik. Cooley is a classic H-back. a hybrid of a full back, running back and tight end.

In Charles, Carasik sees a player for the Falcons that can make a dangerous offense even more dynamic.

“He could be the Falcons version of Aaron Hernandez,” Carasik said. “He would allow them to groom someone behind Tony Gonzalez for a year and could bring a lot of versatility to the offense that just isn’t there now.”

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