In a passing league, no team has a better WR corp than the Atlanta Falcons. The trio of Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley had a combined 3,336 yards receiving and 22 TD’s in 2018.
I always laugh when people talk about bruising runningbacks or an offensive lineman not being worth a damn because he isn’t a “road grader”. With zone blocking schemes becoming the norm and teams putting more stock in third round talent type Quarterbacks, having guys that can catch the ball is at a higher premium than ever before and the Atlanta Falcons sit atop the other 31 teams.
Last week when the Browns traded for WR Odell Beckham Jr, many proclaimed them to be the best WR corp in the NFL, I could not help but laugh at that notion. When you look at all the traditional stats like yards, catches, touchdowns, drops, etc. and then factor in yards per game, yards after catch and yards per route Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley sit alone at the top.
I have had the debate for years about Antonio Brown being better than Julio and I am not quite sure how people make that argument work. That argument ends with this statement right here: there is nothing that Antonio Brown does better than Julio, yet Brown has physical limitations that Julio does not have.
Looking at Sanu and Ridley as the two and three, there is no comparison there either; Ridley is a number one in waiting. As a rookie, he was sixth in the NFL with 10 touchdowns, yes he had a drops issue that I have no doubt will be worked on coming into his second year with the Falcons, but he has shown the big play ability that guys like Odell, Brown, Hopkins and even Julio have shown over their careers.
Mohamed Sanu is a guy that just shows up to work every single day. When looking at a number two WR, teams want guys that make big plays when called upon and when needed can fill the shoes of the number one, which Sanu has done his entire career. His stats won’t blow you away, but he also won’t take off to Miami the week of a playoff game, Facebook live private locker room moments and he wont ever be labeled a pain in the ass to work with, but he will show up to work every Sunday.
There were a lot of trades to start NFL free agency that resulted in a lot of big names moving to new cities, however, I am thankful Atlanta were not in a position to have to accommodate such demands.
I am proud to say that the Falcons have the best WR corps in the National Football League on the field, off the field and in the locker room.