Ten Questions for the Atlanta Falcons: What Should We Expect from the Wide Receivers?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

As the Atlanta Falcons get closer to their mandatory mini-camps, one of their biggest roster questions is the wide receiver group. Although the team has Drake London secured in their number one spot, it’s the rest of the remaining players that have a lot to prove.

It’s expected that Mack Hollins will serve as the number two receiver, with Scott Miller rounding out the group from the slot. Last year was the first time Hollins provided even decent production, and the team is likely viewing him as a late-bloomer who found his footing after floundering in Miami and Philadelphia before that.

Miller’s career has gone the opposite way, and the Falcons are likely hoping that had more to do with his situation than his skills. During the 2020 season, Miller racked up 501 yards on 33 receptions while adding three touchdowns. He also scored a touchdown during the NFC Championship that helped the Buccaneers reach (and win) the Super Bowl.

Since that time though, Miller has put up minimal numbers and only scored one touchdown during the past two seasons combined. The team will hope that he has a bounce back season and can provide a deep threat for Desmond Ridder.

Their options behind Miller, London, and Hollins are extremely unproven players that most casual NFL fans have likely never heard of. There always seem to be a few players who come out of nowhere every season, but it’s hard to expect Frank Darby or KhaDarel Hodge to suddenly become 1,000-yard receivers.

Although there were some big-name free agents the team could have signed, most of them are old (Adam Thielen, Robert Woods, Odell Beckham Jr.), inconsistent (Darius Slayton, Mecole Hardman, Nelson Agholor), or just wanted to play alongside Aaron Rodgers in New York.

The team also could have focused on the position in the draft, but instead seemingly took a quantity over quality approach. After avoiding wide receivers with any of their actual picks, the team signed three non-drafted free agents and there’s a decent chance that at least one of them will make the roster at the beginning of the season.

The major issue will be London’s health; if the wide receiver misses any time or suffers a significant injury, the team would likely have one of the worst (if not the worst) wide receiver group in the entire league. Their best hope could be a trade before the season starts or snagging a player who becomes available after pre-season cuts.

Corey Davis has seemingly fallen out of favor in New York, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him cut within the next month or two. His relationship with Arthur Smith could help the team have a hand-up on other negotiators, but can Davis provide an impact after an up-and-down career so far?

Although there’s a chance none of this will matter as the Falcons pound the rock with rookie running back Bijan Robinson, it’s obvious Atlanta could have done more to assist Ridder as he starts his first season as the full-time starter. They may be expecting Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith to serve as strong parts of their offense, but after the seasons both had last year, it’s hard to predict how 2023 will turn out for the pair.

The Atlanta Falcons are seemingly all-in on making the playoffs this year, and the wide receiver group’s impact may play a huge part in helping (or hurting) that happen.