It's time to officially recognize Roddy White as an elite, top-flight wide receiver in the NFL.
Those of us, like you and me, who follow the Falcons very closely have considered White among this class for a while now, but those outside the circle of Falconry are just now starting to realize where the veteran receiver belongs.
NFL.com has been counting down the top 100 players of 2011, as voted by the players themselves, and as a bonus to that extensive list, the site has been counting down by position. Today, NFL.com features the top 50 receivers in the league, and White is among the elite class as a top 5 receiver, as put together by NFL.com writer Pat Kirwan.
White is accompanied by Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Wayne (Kirwan's list doesn't necessarily go in order, so there's no order to any of the groups; he's merely saying these players belong in the same group). I know there could be some pretty healthy debate among Falcons fans that White belongs above a few of the receivers he's mentioned with, but for White to be recognized as a top 5 receiver in the league is still pretty special.
The work ethic that White has adopted in recent years is admirable, and it has really paid dividends on the field. White has caught for more than 1,000 yards in each season since 2006 and put up 21 touchdowns between the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Also making Kirwan's list is Falcons first-round pick Julio Jones, who has yet to set foot on the field. Kirwan lists Jones in his "Group G," which includes Braylon Edwards, Michael Crabtree, Lee Evans and fellow first-rounder in the 2011 Draft class, AJ Green.
"He's going into the perfect situation: a tremendous quarterback and Roddy White on the opposite side. Jones will see single coverage all year long and should put up some impressive numbers as a rookie," writes Kirwan.