The Atlanta Falcons wrapped up OTAs this past week and are now in a quiet phase until Training Camp starts in Mid-July. In the meantime we can look at the development of Russell Gage.
In the 2018 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons selected wide receiver Russell Gage from LSU with the 194th overall selection. The later rounds in the draft are meant for finding special team players and to add depth to the roster. The Falcons selecting Gage was a great pick as Gage will likely be on the Falcons roster for years to come.
During the 2018 season, Gage had fantastic season on special teams for the Atlanta Falcons. According to Football outsiders the Falcons were ranked 19th during the 2017 season and ranked 10th during the 2018 season. Gage was a huge factor in the improvement on special teams.
On special teams, Russell Gage was most noticeable as a gunner when the Falcons were in the punt formation. During the 2017 season it seemed the special teams coverage was allowed big plays on kickoffs and punts. Last season the big plays were limited with better coaching and better coverage.
Russell Gage played 15 games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. A sixth round pick playing that many games as a rookie is incredible. Gage did contribute a little on the offense catching six balls for 63 yards on the season. He stepped up for the Falcons when Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu, or Justin Hardy had to come off the field.
The Atlanta Falcons selected a solid player in the 2018 NFL draft. Gage will continue his development during the 2019 season. The Falcons are primed for a deep postseason run and Russell Gage will hopefully have several pro-bowl votes for special teams. In the mean time re-watch Russell Gage highlight video from his days at LSU.