Let’s be honest—there’s not exactly any kind of battle at the WR position for the Falcons. There’s Julio Jones, Roddy White, and then everyone else. The second tier belongs to Harry Douglas, who acquitted himself well in Julio’s absence last year, and then there are the third tier names that most fans hope to never see.
But just to familiarize you with the names available:
Starters: Julio Jones and Roddy White
Julio and Roddy are both coming off seasons of disappointment. Julio’s foot injury knocked him out of most of last year, and questions about his wheels dogged him even before he was drafted. Jones’ statement to NFL.com regarding his belief that’s he’s the best receiver in the league, combined with his assertion to ESPN.com that the Falcons have the best starting receiver tandem in the NFL, means a lot of attention will be focused on himself and his running mate. It’ll be a tough scrutiny to withstand given the major issue dogging White is his age and durability. After a season where nagging injuries kept him out of sync for first half, White rounded into form as the Falcons limped to the finish. Keeping both of these talented wideouts healthy is the key to the offense’s gameplan.
Second Level: Harry Douglas
Douglas was elevated to a starting role after Julio’s foot injury, and while he didn’t set the league on fire, he showed the Falcons were right to value him. After finishing with 85 receptions for 1,067 yards and 2 TD, Douglas will move back into his familiar role as the team’s third receiver. But fans at least know Douglas can fill in and do well as one of the team’s top targets.
The Falcons have plenty of receivers on the roster despite the recent loss of Drew Davis to a foot injury. Additions include Geraldo Boldewijn from Boise State, Darius Johnson out of SMU, and Julian Jones from Arkansas State. Freddie Martino, Bernard Reedy, Courtney Roby and Tramaine Thompson round out the group. Boldewijn might bear watching simply because of his size (6’4”, 220 lbs).
X-Factor: Devin Hester
Hester has been signed exclusively as a return specialist, but his electrifying skill set has always intrigued offensive minds. After less-than stellar stints as a WR in Chicago, his ceiling has probably been set, but there’s no telling what Dirk Koetter might have in mind for the speedy Hester—if he’s so inclined.