What a Potential 2018 Atlanta Falcons Draft Could Look Like

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: A detailed view of the pick is in for the
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: A detailed view of the pick is in for the /
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The 3rd player I took in round 1 of the mock draft extravaganza, was Alabama WR Calvin Ridley. Ridley is 6’0, 189 lbs, and runs a 4.43 40 yard dash. He was the leading pass catcher for the champion Crimson Tide. Route running is a true strength for Calvin.

Ridley would be the ideal fit as a fast, shifty, slot receiver, one who can also stretch the seem deep downfield. Wide Receiver isn’t the Falcons’ biggest need, but it is a need with the departure of Taylor Gabriel.

PFF on SI’s MMQB said this about Ridley in their pass catcher ratings:

"“Coming in at No. 5 is Alabama WR Calvin Ridley. Ridley, who’s probably the best speed receiver in the draft, boasts incredible burst and acceleration at the line of scrimmage. He’s skilled at route running, has a good feel for zones and can even engineer his own pick plays against the defense. To top it off, Ridley excels at creating separation down the field and getting open for the quarterback—his speed should make NFL cornerbacks afraid. His production wasn’t as high as other wide receivers in the draft, which is likely a factor of the QB situation in Alabama. And, of course, his age (23) will likely be talked about excessively at the draft.”"

That being said, Ridley was too enticing to pass up with Payne and Bryan off the board. I can imagine Julio Jones would be thrilled to have a rookie from his alma mater to mentor. Calvin’s younger brother Riley, who plays at UGA, would certainly benefit from the ability to watch his brother play all 8 home games. The Ridley Brothers could also train together quite often, being in such close proximity to each other.