The Falcons are among the few NFL teams that have a strong blend of top-end talent and quality depth at many spots on their roster, but NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling believes there is one position that especially stands out.
In a recent piece, Wesseling ranked the deepest position groups in the NFL and the Falcons’ receiver corps was sixth on his list.
“Atlanta's 2016 Super Bowl squad tilted the field with then-offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan dialing up plays for All-Pro Julio Jones, reliable chain-mover Mohamed Sanu and big-play threat Taylor Gabriel,” Wesseling writes. “The latter of that trio is now in Chicago, replaced by first-round pick Calvin Ridley. The former Alabama star should represent an upgrade as a bigger, more well-rounded receiver capable of playing inside and out while threatening defenses downfield. Throw in speedy tight end Austin Hooper and fourth receiver Justin Hardy, and Matt Ryan is poised for another run at the MVP trophy in 2018.”
Although they led the NFL in drops last season, the Falcons’ receivers have more than enough talent to bounce back in a big way. The addition of Calvin Ridley gives Matt Ryan yet another dynamic weapon on the outside, and his rare route-running ability should allow him to have an impact sooner rather than later.
Behind the oft-discussed trio of Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Ridley, the Falcons have Justin Hardy, who Sanu believes has the best hands on the team, Marvin Hall and Reggie Davis. Hardy is a trusted veteran who is an effective run blocker and has proved reliable in key situations, while Hall and Davis offer intriguing upside and could see a bigger role in the offense this season.