Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Tyler Melton has his opportunity, albeit a slim one – a tryout spot at the Falcons’ rookie minicamp next weekend.
Melton confirmed the invite by text message Friday afternoon. He’ll take part in the workouts with the Falcons’ six draftees and 22 undrafted free agents. A tryout player is different than an undrafted rookie free agent. The latter has signed a deal with an NFL team, while a player coming in on a tryout works without a contract. At the mini-camp, which runs May 11-13 at the Falcons’ Flowery Branch complex, Melton’s competition will be three undrafted rookie free agent wide receivers – Marcus Jackson of Lamar, Cody Pearcy from Huntingdon (Ala.) and James Rodgers from Oregon State. The team did not draft any wide receivers.
Melton worked out for the Falcons prior to the draft along with a number of other local products, going through pass routes and then meeting with coaches. Prior to the draft, Melton said he thought he picked things up quickly, an opinion evidently shared by the Falcons.
Melton will try to follow the unlikely but ultimately successful route charted by former Tech wide receiver Kevin Cone, who was signed by the Falcons just prior to the 2011 training camp, then proceeded to make the practice squad and then the active roster late in the season.
Melton started 35 games for Tech in his career, including all 13 games as a senior. He caught 17 passes as a senior, including 10 in the final five games of the season. He was an excellent downfield blocker and also performed well on special teams.
Two years ago, the Falcons brought in six tryout players to their minicamp and kept two, quarterback Eric Ward from Southwest DeKalb High and cornerback Daylan Walker. Ward was cut one month later (he played in Canada last season and ended up throwing for Stephen Hill and Melton at Tech’s pro day). Walker was waived-injured in August.