Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart Breakdown: Wide Receivers

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Nov 9, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (17) tries for a catch in the second quarter as the Falcons beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-17 at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

WR4 — Devin Hester

In his final couple of years in Chicago, Hester didn’t see much time as a receiver, being used primarily as a returner. He saw some more time in the passing game in Atlanta, catching 38 passes for 504 yards and two touchdowns last term.

Sep 18, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (17) (with ball) reacts with teammates after returning a punt for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I see him being used on the rotation behind Justin Hardy, but he will still be a useful weapon for Matt Ryan.

Where he will shine is again when returning kicks and punts. Last year, he broke Deion Sanders‘ record for touchdown returns, running back the 20th of his career against the Buccaneers.

From his 45 kickoff returns, Hester ran for 1,128 yards with an impressive average of 25 yards. His 18 punt returns went for 240 yards and the infamous touchdown — he averaged 13.3 yards per punt return.


The Falcons have some solid depth with Leonard Hankerson, Eric Weems and Freddie Martino

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It will be interesting to see Hankerson’s role. He was drafted in 2011 by the Washington Redskins, and developed into a player who looked like a solid second or third option at receiver.

Unfortunately, a knee injury forced him out of the end of the 2013 season and affected the start of 2014. He is only 26 years old and can still become a solid option for the Falcons.

Weems is experienced, but will likely be limited to special teams.

This is arguably the best group of receivers the Falcons have had in a long time. If the run game can improve, more opportunities will open for Matt Ryan and the passing game.

And he has plenty of targets.

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