The 2012 NFL Draft is fast approaching and the Stanford Cardinal are expected to be well-represented. In addition to the consensus top pick in quarterback Andrew Luck, Stanford has some appealing options on their offensive line who figure to be picked in the first round. But they're not the only ones from Palo Alto who are hoping to go pro.
Stanford tight end Coby Fleener is starting to pop up on more and more mock draft lists. Scott Carasik, the Atlanta Falcons analyst for Drafttek, predicts that Fleener could be picked as the overall No. 56 selection, which would send him to the Atlanta Falcons as their second round pick. Here's was Carasik has to say:
Tony Gonzalez signed a contract extension for "one more" year . . . what a great situation Coby Fleener finds himself in, to learn under the "master" and add another offensive option for the 2012 season. Fleener had over 600 yards receiving in 2011 as a 3rd option in the offense for Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal. He's a very good blocker and fits the Atlanta character and talent mentality. He was a team captain with Luck for the past year and is extremely good at finding holes in the zone just like Tony. With Gonzalez teaching him the refined parts of the position, other options in Julio Jones and Roddy White, and a pro bowl QB, he could be in the best possible situation for a rookie TE.
The Falcons are certainly in need of some offense, as they proved on Sunday when they became the only NFL team to ever score just two points in a playoff game. Fleener, who was one of Luck's favorite targets in the 2011 season, would be a great match for Matt Ryan in Atlanta.