The Atlanta Falcons are fortunate enough to have a two-headed monster at receiver with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. The Falcons now must find the right receiver to be the number three receiver in the offense.
The fans of the Atlanta Falcons when Jones, Ridley, and former receiver Mohamed Sanu were used in three-receiver sets.
Sanu added a different dimension in the offense with his abilities to throw the football but more than likely the Falcons won’t find someone to fill that type of void simply because the Falcons do not have someone like that at the receiver position.
Along with developing the young players on defense and increasing the chemistry on the offensive line, the Falcons must address who will be the third receiver. Luckily for the Falcons, there are plenty of options and each one brings something different to the lineup.
Devin Gray, Brandon Powell, Russell Gage, Christian Blake, and Olamide Zaccheaus all return to the team. These players have the most experience being in this style of offense and one could assume that these returning players have a heads up in the competition to be the third receiver.
Gage received the most playing time and had the better stats out of all the receivers outside of Jones and Ridley. Gage ended the season with 49 receptions with 446 yards and a touchdown.
Zaccheaus is responsible for the longest lay of the season for the Falcons with his 93-yard touchdown reception against the Carolina Panthers.
Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell has not had the best start to his career but don’t let that fool you because that young man is a stud. Treadwell has the most experience and there is a reason why Treadwell was a first-round pick in 2016. If you don’t know why, feel free to check him out on YouTube.
Chris Rowland, Jalen McCleskey, and Juwan Green are the undrafted rookie receivers the Falcons decided to pick up. Rowland broke Jerry Rice’s HBCU single-season receptions record and was the recipient of the Deacon Jones Trophy, given every year to the Black College Football Hall of Fame player of the year.
McCleskey is an Oklahoma State transfer who landed at Tulane. He’s a speedy slot receiver who could definitely help the Falcons stretch the field vertically if given the chance. Green is a product of Albany and just completed a season in which he put up 83 receptions for 1,386 yards and 17 touchdowns.
No matter what the level of competition is, those are some impressive numbers.
No matter what direction the Falcons decide to go when it comes to the third receiver spot, they have plenty of options. They could opt to put another speedster out there or the possession receiver with dependable hands which would be something close to what Sanu had to offer.
This could be a situation where the Falcons decide to do a third receiver by committee giving each player a look at the number three spot in certain packages. Gage should have the upper hand getting the spot being that he has the most game experience but there is a lot of talent among these young receivers.