What should the Atlanta Falcons expect from Auden Tate this season?
By Nick Halden
The Atlanta Falcons have done a great job this off-season adding receiver depth a season after struggling to find impact players at the position. While Drake London and Bryan Edwards have deservedly been the headline additions one pleasant surprise could be former Bengals receiver, Auden Tate.
Tate spent four seasons with the Bengals totaling 799-receiving yards and 2-touchdowns. While those numbers are underwhelming most of Tate’s damage happened in 2019 when he was given far more playing time. Tate finished the 2019 season with 575-receiving yards and was an excellent third option behind Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd.
After the Bengals moved on from Andy Dalton and brought in better options around Joe Burrow Tate received few opportunities. In Atlanta, Tate will have a chance to follow the path of another former Bengals receiver, Mohamed Sanu. Like Tate, Sanu had an inconsistent impact on Cincy before leaving the Bengals for Atlanta.
Sanu had a breakout season with the Falcons and was integral to their 2016 run to the Super Bowl.
While the Falcons lack the roster to make a playoff run this season with Tate, he has the talent to make just as big of an impact as Sanu. With Kyle Pitts, Drake London, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Bryan Edwards all demanding attention Tate is going to have a golden opportunity in Atlanta.
On a team’s third or fourth cover option Tate will be in a position for a great supporting season. If he wins the third receiver role as expected Tate will finish the year upwards of 500-receiving yards and with 4-receiving touchdowns. He has the size and talent to consistently win with a team set up to give him opportunities the Bengals haven’t over the past two seasons.
Tate will likely be competing with Frank Darby, Geronimo Allison, and Damiere Byrd for the third receiver role throughout camp and the pre-season. Olamide Zaccheaus will likely win a job simply based on the different skill set he will bring. If there is one criticism to the Atlanta receiver room it is their lack of a deep threat. The Falcons focused on adding jump-ball receivers this season and outside of Olamide lack a speed threat likely handing him the fourth receiver role heading into the season.