Who will be the third receiver for the Atlanta Falcons?
By Nick Halden
If the Atlanta Falcons choose not to add a veteran receiver before the start of the pre-season one of the biggest competitions in camp and the pre-season will be for the third receiver role. First-round pick Drake London and recent trade addition Bryan Edwards are seemingly locked in as the starters.
As long as London shows even a bit of promise he will head into the season as Atlanta’s number one option at the position. Edwards struggled to make a consistent impact with the Raiders but should thrive with a bigger role in Atlanta.
Behind those two receivers, the questions are even bigger who will be the third option for the Falcons? Frank Darby, Auden Tate, Olamide Zaccheaus, Damiere Byrd, and Geronimo Allison are the obvious contenders for Atlanta’s third option.
Olamide was given a chance to step up already last season and managed 406-receiving yards locking up his spot as a contributor this season. Despite his success in a limited role Olamide is at his best when he is the 4th or 5th option using his speed to put pressure on the defense.
Frank Darby would be the next obvious name for Atlanta to consider, however, unless Darby has a huge pre-season it is hard to see the receiver winning a contributing role. Last season Matt Ryan and the offense were desperate to find a consistent target at receiver when Calvin Ridley was suspended and the team didn’t see fit to give Darby meaningful snaps.
Even when he was on the field he was underwhelming and unable to haul in what few targets he did receive. Atlanta’s best option for the third receiver will be either Auden Tate or Geronimo Allison.
Allison had success with Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay in that very role making high-impact catches. He would fit in with Atlanta’s jump ball receiver wave as well at 6’3 Allison has great size and speed making him a solid third option.
If Geronimo doesn’t prove to be the answer Auden Tate will be the next best option. The 6’5 former Bengals receiver finished his second season with 575-receiving yards and has proven he can make an impact in the right system.
Atlanta has a chance to give Tate the exact role he can thrive in as the third option at his own position while still playing meaningful snaps. It would be surprising if the Falcons head into the season with anyone other than Tate or Allison as their third option.