The Atlanta Falcons have a reputation for offensive weaponry surrounding QB Matt Ryan. And we can argue, even in the wake of the Julio Jones departure, the presence of rookie Kyle Pitts and the growing brilliance of Calvin Ridley can mean they still do.
But Pitts, the fourth-overall pick in the NFL Draft, hasn't done it yet.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell lacks faith in the Falcons’ current group, as he drops Atlanta all the way down to No. 23 overall in his offensive rankings for 2021.
The Julio trade is in play. Questions about true depth at wide receiver is as well. But it's Ridley’s recent surgery that fuels much of the skepticism.
“Atlanta still has one star at wide receiver in Calvin Ridley, but if Ridley’s foot issues linger into the season, the depth chart at wideout would be absolutely horrific.''
The problem with this view isn't about what a healthy Ridley can do (a repeat of his 2020 performance, statistically, would be grand). The problem is that ESPN takes great pains to paint a picture that we think comes with no credible information about Ridley's foot being a problem into the 2021 season.
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Barnwell writes: "Russell Gage was a perfectly acceptable third wideout behind Jones and Ridley, but casting him as the No. 1 with Olamide Zaccheaus or Christian Blake as the No. 2 would be the worst set of starting wideouts we’ve seen in the NFL in several years.''
Yeah, but ... who is casting Gage as a No. 1? Who is casting "Zacchaus or Blake as the No. 2''?
“It was just minor,” Ridley recently said of the surgery. “I can walk and all that right now. ... I’m doing regular things.''
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Ridley added that he's "pretty sure'' he'll be ready for the start of training camp on Thursday. If he's wrong about being ready at the end of July? He'll surely be ready shortly after that, meaning that while Atlanta might have concerns about matching its historic offensive weaponry, there is no reason to think Calvin Ridley is going to be part of the concerns.
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