We’re in the depths of the offseason here at The Falcoholic, and there has been little to nothing in the way of interesting news in ages. So, we’ll have to make some content of our own in the meantime. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be bringing you a new Player Profile series where we’ll take a look at each of the players on Atlanta’s roster. I’ll break down their measurables, past production, and try to project their 2020 season with the Falcons.
After taking a look at the projected starters, we now turn our attention to the depth on the Falcons’ roster. Today, I’ll be discussing TE Khari Lee—a standout blocker from the XFL who also has four years of NFL experience under his belt.
Contract: $750K cap hit in 2020, free agent in 2021
Career Production: 34 games played, 7 games started | 2 receptions for 12 yards (6.0 YPR)
2019 Production: 8 receptions for 91 yards (11.4 YPR) and 2 TD (XFL)
Measurables: 6’4, 250 | 4.85 40-yard dash, 1.66 10-yard split | 7.62 3-cone | 115” broad jump, 36” vertical jump
The Falcons are doing a complete revamp of their TE depth chart in 2020—save for Jaeden Graham, an impressive former UDFA. That means that the names we’ve become accustomed to seeing at the top in recent years—Austin Hooper and Luke Stocker—are no more. Hooper has been replaced by former first-round pick Hayden Hurst, but what about Stocker? Atlanta clearly has need of a blocking TE to take over the role played by Stocker, and they have very few options on the roster heading into training camp.
Enter Khari Lee, a standout TE from the XFL who also has several years of NFL experience as a blocker. Lee bounced around for a few years after being signed as a UDFA by the Texans in 2015, spending time in Chicago, Detroit, and Buffalo. He was never a receiving option, as his 2 NFL receptions can attest. However, in the XFL in 2019, Lee showed some solid receiving ability in addition to his reliable blocking with 8 catches for 91 yards and 2 TDs. He’s got excellent size at 6’4, 250, decent speed, and impressive explosiveness. However, Lee is not particularly agile and struggles to change direction quickly.
With Hayden Hurst just an average blocker and Jaeden Graham unproven in this area, the Falcons are likely looking for a proven blocking option at TE3. Khari Lee is by far the most proven and established player for this role, and he’s got the size, strength, and savvy to be successful. While he doesn’t offer the receiving or long-term upside of UDFA Jared Pinkney, he has the edge in experience and reliable blocking ability.
Projection: Khari Lee is a reliable and experienced blocker that showed a spark as a receiver in the XFL. While he’s not likely to offer much in that area in the NFL, Lee is by far the best blocking TE on the roster. If Atlanta is looking for a reliable blocker to complement the receiving ability of Hurst and Graham, Lee should be the favorite to win the job heading into the 2020 season.