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Atlanta Falcons select Stanford Tight End Austin Hooper with the 81st overall pick

Austin Hooper carries on the Stanford tradition of 'Tight End U' in the NFL as he joins the Atlanta Falcons.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the 81st overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons selected Austin Hooper. Hooper departed Stanford with eligibility left perhaps recognizing and capitalizing upon the weak tight end class. Hooper was the second tight end picked in the 2016 NFL draft despite not going until the 3rd round.

Next year, Hooper will catch passes from prolific NFL quarterback Matt Ryan.  Hooper brings a unique skill set to the Falcons because unlike most tight ends, Hooper can line up off of the line. Last year, when Christian McCaffrey was racking up touches and record-setting statistics, Hooper still caught 34 passes and six touchdowns, making him a Mackey Award finalist and an All-Pac-12 First team player.

There were questions about Hooper's size, run blocking abilities, and 40 time at the NFL Combine but most scouts, and analysts pegged Hooper to the be among the 3 best tight ends in the entire 2016 NFL Draft. Good luck to Austin Hooper in the NFL!

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