Grading the Falcons First Round Pick

The Falcons took Calvin Ridley tonight with their 26th pick. Here are my thoughts on it. 

Calvin Ridley

Somehow Calvin Ridley fell to 26 and the Falcons pulled the trigger to many fans surprise. I was almost 100% sure we were going to take Taven Bryan but the Falcons have always been unorthodox so this isn’t a surprise to everyone. I initially was disappointed but after looking at my notes, I realized I had graded him as a top 15 player in this years draft. I don’t think many people are surprised the Falcons took him but more surprised that he was even there. I can’t wait to hear what Dimitroff has to say about this pick but I can only assume it was more a case of best available rather than need based.

Combine Results

Height: 6-1

Weight: 189

Hand: 9 1/8

Arm: 31 5/8

40 yard dash: 4.43

Bench Press: 15 reps

Vertical: 31 inches

Broad Jump: 110 inches

3 Cone Drill: 6.88

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.41

Strengths:

Effortless coming in-and-out of his cuts, speed is consistent no matter the route, quick feet, good separation talent, can easily look off safeties with small head movements, can drop low and go high for balls out of his range, great improvisation skills when play goes on, good route runner

Ridley3.jpg

Weaknesses:

Thin (needs to bulk up a little, maybe 10 pounds), poor handfighting, averaged 7 drops a season, tends to dance after catch, can be put off by physical corners

Quote:

“I haven’t seen them all yet, but I doubt anybody in this class will touch him at that position. You wish he was a little bigger and stronger, but he can get open on just about any route you want. I still think he’s a step below where Amari Cooper was coming out.” — NFC team general manager

Calvin Ridley

Grade: A+

I wish we could’ve gotten Da’Ron Payne but unfortunately he wasn’t there. Taven Bryan was there and surprisingly, the Falcons decided to take Calvin Ridley. What this pick tells me is that the Falcons believe the talent gap between Taven Bryan and a second round DT is not that big. He is, in my opinion, the best wide receiver in the draft and is an absolute steal at 26. I expect him to come in and be the 3rd wide receiver but to be used more often than Gabriel was. I also think it’s a possibility that he returns kicks for the Falcons next year. This was simply a pick where the Falcons couldn’t pass over Ridley as he magically dropped into their laps. Overall, this is a very promising pick that I think most of our fans are happy with!

 

NOTE: I will have more coming out tomorrow about how Ridley fits with the Falcons.

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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