According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Detroit Lions are planning on signing former Atlanta Falcons tight end, Levine Toilolo, to one-year deal.
Lions signing veteran TE Levine Toilolo to one-year deal, per source. Veteran spent last five years with Falcons.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 28, 2018
Contract details were not disclosed.
GM Bob Quinn has been very diligent in his search for the void left by last year’s tight ends, Eric Ebron and Darren Fells.
The Lions have already signed Luke Willson to help out at the position.
Toilolo is a capable blocker but doesn’t necessarily excel in one area.
PFF did tab Toilolo with a 72.3 run blocking grade last year– the best grade of the current Lions tight end group. It’s likely that blocking is the area of the game in which the Lions will use him the most.
The 6-foot-8 pass catcher has started 57 games after being drafted out of Stanford in the fourth-round in 2013. Even with his starts, he was considered more of a No. 2 tight end in Atlanta’s offense. His large frame provides a broad catching radius, but his athleticsm doesn’t jump off the charts.
Toilolo has 74-catches, 723-yards receiving, and eight touchdowns in his five-year career with the Falcons.
New #Lions TE Levine Toilolo overview:
Size – 6′ 8″, 265lbs
Speed – 4.86 40-yard
Age – 26, 6th NFL season
Usage – 495 total snaps (135 pass, 286 run block, 74 pass block)
Production – 12 receptions, 122-yards, 1 TD
Drops – 1 drop on 14 targets pic.twitter.com/2KPL2KEJPr
— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) March 29, 2018
One undervalued positive was his availability. He only missed one game in five seasons.
After signing a three year deal worth $12-million a year ago with Atlanta, he was a rather surprising cut earlier this month. It did save the Falcons $3.5-million.
At the very least, the signing gives the Lions depth at the position and doesn’t make it a glaring need going into the draft.