Atlanta Falcons list Gage ahead of Hardy on the depth chart
The Atlanta Falcons play their first preseason game this Thursday against the Denver Broncos. Playing five preseason games is a daunting task but it allows the depth players on the team to receive valuable playing time.
Earlier this week the Atlanta Falcons released their first depth chart of the season. Training Camp gave us a little indication on who the starters are going to be for the 2019 season. The most likely change that is going to happen is Kaleb McGary eventually starting over Ty Sambrailo.
One of the biggest takeaways from the depth chart is Russell Gage as second string over Justin Hardy. From reports earlier in camp Russell Gage was a player that stood out and progressed well from year one to year two. Gage from LSU was drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft to make a major impact on special teams.
In his rookie season, Gage was a major contributor on special teams being the primary gunner and being on every special teams unit. In year two he is now the number four wide receiver on the depth chart. This is a fantastic sign for Gage as he is developing. (Insert article link about Gage developing on special teams)
At LSU Gage was more of a gadget player as he was used keep defenses on their heels. He did not have a ton of playing time in college until his senior season. Gage racked up 232 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 285 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns his final season at LSU.
The fact that Gage is now above Hardy on the depth chart is a great sign. Most special teams player eventually lose their value because at some point there are injuries to the starter and then that player has to step up. Players that can play special teams and provide depth last much longer in the NFL.
If Gage can develop into as a consistent fourth receiver, he can have a long, successful career in the NFL. If he continues his development we might see him as a special teams player elected to the Pro Bowl every year.