The Falcons sign former Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, a four-year veteran with more than 1,000 career receiving yards
1. Something to Prove: Falcons wide receiver Leonard Hankerson has proven his determined will to thrive in the NFL, enduring one year of recovery time after suffering a knee injury on Nov. 17, 2013. He returned to action in 2014, playing in one game. Hankerson now joins the Falcons with plenty of motivation to showcase the talent that earned him a spot in the league in 2011.
2. Shanahan Familiarity: Hankerson reunites with former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who worked with the receiver during the 2011-2013 seasons, which included 81 receptions for 1,081 yards and six touchdowns. In 2012, Hankerson's efforts helped Washington finish ninth in the NFL in total offense (369.7 yards per game).
3. Learning from the Best: A native of Florida, Hankerson played at the University of Miami and spends time in the Sunshine State training with one of the NFL's all-time best receivers, Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Cris Carter. The type of workouts Carter puts his athletes through are the same kind that earned him a bust in Canton. Look for Hankerson to display all of his hard work with Carter on the field in 2015 and beyond.
4. Representing "The U": The University of Miami (Fla.) has a strong reputation for the familial bond among its players, during college and far beyond. Hankerson arrives in Atlanta to new Falcons teammates, each a Hurricanes alum, wide receiver Devin Hester, guard Harland Gunn and punter Matt Bosher.
5. Path to the Falcons: Hankerson began his NFL career after a busy draft day in 2011. He was selected by the Redskins with their third-round pick (79th overall), which came in addition to a fifth-round pick (146th overall) and a seventh-round pick (217th overall) via trade with the Miami Dolphins, who received a second-round pick in the same draft (62nd overall). Following his three seasons in Washington, Hankerson landed in Atlanta on the second day of 2015 NFL free agency, excited about the upcoming season with the Falcons.