1. Justin Hardy Has Potential To Make Game-Changing Plays
In the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Falcons decided to go with the leading wide receiver out of East Carolina. He has had his share of growing pains, but he has also made some spectacular plays this preseason. Hardy’s best play last night was his 70-yard punt return that set the team up to score and brought them loads of momentum. However, he did only have 2 catches for 16 yards in the game. He needs to find more ways to get open, as that was one of the knocks on him coming into the draft. Hardy will make the team, and he will likely be competing against receivers such as Devin Hester and Eric Weems for reps on Sundays. If Hardy can continue to make plays, whether on offense or special teams, he will find himself in a lot of games.
2. Do Not Underestimate Rookie Grady Jarrett
Grady Jarrett might be the biggest steal in the NFL Draft. Seven tackles with three tackles for a loss and a sack definitely are great numbers for any player in a game. Jarrett had a couple of great plays, especially when he quickly got off the ball and stuffed the Ravens on third down. Jarrett said, “I wanted to finish the preseason strong. I knew I was going to have the opportunity to play a lot of snaps, so I just tried to take advantage of my opportunity and make the most of it.” If Jarrett plays the way he did last night in the regular season, we could see a beast growing upon us.
3. Tevin Coleman Will Eventually Be The Starter This Season
It is just preseason, and it was against reserves, but Tevin Coleman looked like a starting NFL running back last night. Averaging 7.0 yards per carry, Coleman seemed to be patient and waited to hit the open holes. When he located the opening, he was able to burst through it for chunks of yardage. Coleman bounced a carry to the outside that earned him a long run of 26 yards. Devonta Freeman will likely be starting Week 1, but having been out for so long, Coleman might have to end up carrying the load. With the way he played last night, it might end up being the right move to start putting their trust in Coleman.