State of The Franchise – Wide Receivers
For those who have missed the earlier parts in this series, click on the respective group to view the discussion on that group (Cornerback, Quarterback and Running Back).
Wide Receiver, obviously was a position the Falcons were looking to improve at when they made the bold move to acquire Julio Jones. While we are discussing Julio, we might as well ask the question was the trade worth it? Can i get a hell yeah!
There is no doubt in my mind that (barring injuries) Julio Jones can become the best receiver in the NFL, he is simply that good and that talented and that dedicated, that the sky is truly the limit for him. In a sparkling rookie campaign, where he recorded 959 yards and 8 touchdowns off 54 catches and got even better as the season went on. He did all of that in 12 and a half games!
Well we can all breath a sigh of relief we didn’t trade up for the next bust like the Saints did for Ricky Williams. However it is still fair to ask was the price to high?
Potentially yes as you could always say he could of got him in the second round, him in the 4th round but it just doesn’t work like that. We could all sit back and say why didn’t we use a 5th or 6th round pick on Tom Brady because hindsight is a wonderful thing. Think of it this way, knowing what you know, how much would you trade for a five years younger Calvin Johnson? Remember the Falcons flirted with the idea of trading up for him in the 2007 draft.
Honestly i think the deal was a 2nd round pick too much, but having said that i’m not complaining at all because we have Julio Jones.Just for fun i will have a post coming up soon, showing who we could of got, had we not made the Julio trade, so look out for that on Blogging Dirty.
Moving on to our veteran Roddy White. I think Roddy would even agree, that it could of been better for himself. Although he recorded 100 catches and over 1,300 yards, the drops were the crucial factor in his season. He still earned pro bowl honors this year and is becoming a regular in Hawaii, i saw one post on a fan board saying we should trade White now while his value is high. I completely disagree with that, Roddy is a competitor and another offseason with Matt and Julio should iron out those drops, and take him back to playing at an all-pro level.
Harry Douglass, is set to be a free agent and a part of me thinks he will leave to pursue money as an #2 receivers, because he won’t get that type of money from us, its just not fiscally possible. While i would like him to stay as our slot wide receiver, his lack of productivity based on expectations hasn’t been there throughout his career.
Yes, you could say our expectations were to high but he has flashed at times (notably the 4th quarter against the Saints in week 10) leading us to believe he can play to that level. Is his mediocrity his fault or Mularkey’s fault? I would say mostly Mularkey which is why i can’t see it being a good move for him to bolt to Jacksonville. For the right price i would like to see HD back and see what he can do under new OC Dirk Koetter.
Kerry Meier, was the Falcons invisible man this year. What happened to him? Well Mularkey obviously forgot he existed so didn’t play him! He will be around next year as he is under contract. I hope he gets some reps this preseason i want to see what he can do!
The final guy on the depth chart currently is Eric Weems. While he does versatility (he plays KR, PR and ST) i would like to see an upgrade at all of the spots he plays to be honest. He isn’t a great or even good wide receiver really and the only reason he made the roster is because of that versatility. His mistakes on fair catches on punts cost the Falcons numerous times this year and i would like to see Dominique Franks return some punts. Weems is a free agent and i would prefer the money to be spent elsewhere.
Who could the Falcons look at to upgrade this group or replace Weems or Douglass should they leave in free agency.
Finding a replacement in free agency isn’t really an option for the Falcons, as money allocated to Roddy and Julio prevents any big money move.
Through the draft, the Falcons have already spoken to Appalachian state WR Brian Quick (click on player name for scouting report from NFL Mocks). Other players to look out in my opinion are Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller and Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles, who is recovering from an ACL and could slip in the draft as a result.