FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Calvin Ridley will have a chip on his shoulder when he arrives in Atlanta.
Because, according to the wide receiver (and no slight to the team that picked him), he believes he should have been picked higher.
Ridley was widely considered the best receiver in the class and he was the second receiver taken on Thursday night. The Carolina Panthers took D.J. Moore with the No. 24 overall pick.
Although it was later than he probably expected, going to Atlanta where he will play under an offensive coordinator he's familiar with while learning from Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones – whom he knows from their Crimson Tide connection – Ridley has a lot of pieces around him for him to be successful as a Falcon.
When asked what his biggest strength as a receiver is, Ridley said it's his route running ability which allows him to create space from defenders.
"I think I get open really well," Ridley said in a conference call with Atlanta media. "I think with that offense that has Coach Sark and I think he's going to do a great job, I think I'm going to do really well."
Ridley also reflected on his time playing under Sarkisian, praising his style. And by his comments, it doesn't sound like Ridley will have any trouble getting balls thrown his way.
"He was real cool, he was trying to get me that ball before he left, I know that," Ridley said.
Jones has spent his offseason working out in Tuscaloosa at Alabama's facility where Ridley was also working out for a period of time.
The two receivers ran through drills together and spent time talking about the game.
All interactions Ridley greatly appreciated. Now they'll be teammates, and Ridley couldn't be more excited about it.
"I'm very excited to be coming in with Julio," Ridley said. "I know I'm going to learn a lot from him and become a better player. I'm very happy to be in that organization."