Flashes some speed to stretch and push the vertical seam. Able to get behind the safety at times and make plays downfield. Does his best work when he's uncovered as an inline tight end or working out of the slot. Is a smooth runner with nice burst once he gets up to speed. Consistently catches the ball with his hands and away from his body. Can make some plays after the catch, securing the ball and turning upfield. Shows some shiftiness to make moves after the catch or just lower the helmet and run through smaller defenders. Flashes pop as an inline blocker, able to get position and redirect defensive end on the edge to make the seal. Is fiesty at times, especially when matched up against smaller defenders.
Doesn't always make the grabs in traffic, and can get alligator arms there. Has a short, dumpy build that isn't going to support much more weight. Doesn't have great speed to really challenge defenses vertically, and doesn't get a good release especially when covered as an inline tight end. Misses too many assignments as a blocker, especially when working as an H-back.
Charles continues Georgia's tradition of producing solid NFL tight ends, but like many of the recent ones he is probably not going to be an elite guy at the next level. He's a solid receiver that is at his best when used as an oversized slot receiver. While he is an effective inline blocker for a player his size, he'll struggle at times to match up against NFL-sized defenders. He's not going to be a go-to playmaker in most NFL offenses, but can be a solid to good outlet receiver that as third or so option can be effective. He was arrested for a DUI in March, but up to then was noted for his character and work ethic.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/3) vs. Boise St: 9 targets, 6 rec., 108 yds (18.0 avg), 36 YAC (6.0 avg), 1 TD, 1 drop; 1 missed block
(9/10) vs. South Carolina: 1 tgt., 0 rec. 0 yds, 0 TDs
(12/3) vs. LSU: 7 tgt., 3 rec., 35 yds (11.7 avg), 18 YAC (6.0 avg), 0 TDs, 1 drop
2011: 14 GP/14 GS, 45 catches, 574 yds (12.8 avg), 5 TDs
If comparing Charles to past Georgia tight ends, he probably compares best to Randy McMichael, another undersized tight end that was an above average blocker and solid receiver. But while he compares well to McMichael in terms of his playing style, he's not quite as good a prospect and subsequently may have an NFL career that mirrors more of Ben Watson. Athletically, Watson is far superior to Charles, but like Watson, Charles should be a solid to good starter but may never be a go-to guy in the passing game. Charles can provide occasional big plays, but he's not a guy that is really going to scare defenses. But on a team that features playmakers on the outside that can draw coverages, as a third option Charles can be a valuable asset. He offers versatility because of his ability to play in the slot, work at H-back, and also be an inline tight end. Ideally, he'll work best in an offense that will play him frequently in the slot and try to create some mismatches there. The good thing for him is that is much more common in today's NFL than it was years ago, so it's possible that Charles becomes a productive starter than he would have been if he was born 5-10 years earlier. He's the type of player that could catch 50-60 passes in the right scheme and help move the chains on third downs. But for most teams and schemes, his production will probably hover around 30-40 grabs most years. He should make a solid NFL starter, as long as a team doesn't try to force him into being a power inline guy. He'll probably work best on a team that uses a lot of two-TE looks similar to Watson in New England because he's not a guy that is going to give you everything you want. Playing him opposite a guy that is more of a traditional inline tight end like Watson had with Daniel Graham, Kyle Brady, and Christian Fauria will probably work best for him. I don't think he'll come in right away and impact, but I think he can produce as a reserve and situational player early on. And with a year or two under his belt, can start to produce as a capable starter.
Charles can be a competent replacement for Tony Gonzalez. He lacks Gonzo's upside and won't be a guy that can create consistent mismatches at the tight end position, but the positive for him is that he probably won't have to with guys like Roddy White and Julio Jones on the outside. As far as being a solid third option, Charles can fill that role. The key for him to really excel in Atlanta, is the team will need to find a better option to play more of the inline role than Michael Palmer who is nothing special as a blocker. If the Falcons take advantage of Charles ability as an overglorified slot receiver, similar to how they have used Gonzalez in the past at times, then he can be more effective. In terms of his ability to generate big plays, he's similar to Gonzalez since Tony has clearly lost a step in terms of his ability to create the splash plays. But he's not going to be the go-to option on third downs or in the redzone that Gonzo is still today, and subsequently he'll only be a guy that you can rely on catching 40-50 passes in the Falcons offense. As a rookie, he'll be an immediate upgrade as far as a No. 2 TE and H-back than Palmer because of his ability to beat man coverage and get open. He could probably add 20-25 catches right away. And he could slide in as the starter in Year 2, although it's not like his production is going to suddenly blossom. He'll be serviceable as a year two starter most likely, but eventually can grow into a reliable complement down the road, especially if the Falcons become more of a pass-centric offense.
Charles is a solid second round talent. He doesn't have the elite potential either as a receiver or blocker to make him worth more than a late second round pick. He's solid value in the late second, and very good value in the third round.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Body Control: 6.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.