Round 5, Pick 174
Atlanta’s final pick in the draft was all about upside. Saurbet was not highly recruited, is inconsistent on tape, and has no experience versus high-level competition. It is his 6’5″, 255-pound frame along with speed and athleticism that will give him an opportunity to shine in this league. Saubert ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at Iowa State’s pro-day, and said afterwards he was “hoping to go a little lower”. Regardless, that is an impressive time for a player of that size. He also showed off his athleticism with a 35-inch vertical and his strength with 22 reps on the bench press. Saubert has all the measurables to be an elite NFL tight-end.
The problem is there are legitimate questions regarding his hands. He dropped a ton of balls over his time at Drake and the problem never seemed to improve much. There is also questions about how engaged he is on every play. He takes plays off when the plays are not designed for him and is not a good run-blocker. All of this may point to why a player with this much athletic ability is playing at Drake rather than a major division one college.
The Falcons need help at the tight-end position. Austin Hooper was a nice breath of fresh air at the position. Toilolo proved to be a more reliable option last year than in year’s past, but neither of those guys seem to have the explosive potential that Saubert possesses. With constant work to develop his game, there is a chance Saubert busts onto the scene as another electric weapon for Matt Ryan to throw to. That is about all you can ask for out of a 5th-round pick.