Cone, Davis Enter WR Battle With Experience

Posted Jul 19, 2013

There are a lot of numbers in training camp at the Falcons wide receiver spot. The top three spots are figured out and two players, Kevin Cone and Drew Davis, should benefit from last year’s experience on the roster as they compete with the other six receivers in Falcons camp for the final two WR spots.

In previous seasons, the final wide receiver spots with the Falcons were a topic of great debate. Now that Atlanta appears set with its top three options in Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas and the Falcons supplemented the offense with players at other positions, those final two spots aren’t debated quite as much.

This year, the early frontrunners heading into Russell Athletic Atlanta Falcons Training Camp appear to be Drew Davis and Kevin Cone, two returning players from last year’s roster that proved their value in limited opportunities last season. Tim Toone also returns for another shot after missing the season with an injury upon making the team’s Week 1 roster.

James Rodgers and Marcus Jackson were members of last year’s practice squad and the Falcons rounded out the training camp roster with college free agents Rashad Evans, Martel Moore and Darius Johnson.

All eight of them will compete in camp for the final few receiver spots, but Davis and Cone have the advantage with their 2012 experience.

PHOTOS: Minicamp Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Davis was active for every game last season, catching four passes for 40 yards with a touchdown. His first pass reception and touchdown reception came in the same game, Week 8’s contest against the Eagles. Davis’ first catch came on a 15-yard completion for a third-and-8 conversion in the first quarter. Later in the drive, Matt Ryan connected with Davis for a 15-yard touchdown.

Davis added receptions of 4 and 6 yards later in the season and added a 6-yard reception in the playoff win over the Seahawks. Davis was tied for third on the team last year with five special teams tackles.

Cone, one of last season’s finalists for the Falcons’ Walter Payton Man of the Year award, was active for 12 games last year and while he didn’t have a reception, he was a mainstay on special teams, finishing with three tackles on the year.

Both players will have to continue their work on special teams if they want a shot this year like they had last season. Falcons head coach Mike Smith has said repeatedly during his tenure that depth players must be able to contribute on special teams.

Last year during the preseason, Davis caught two passes for 14 yards and added two tackles on special teams. Cone caught five passes for 98 yards and waited until the final game of the preseason to make his big push, catching two passes for 64 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown.

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