After losing Russell Gage to free agency and Calvin Ridley to suspension, the Falcons only returning wide receiver was Frank Darby. So, the team made Drake London the highest-drafted receiver in the 2022 cycle. They also brought back Olamide Zaccheaus and traded for the big-bodied Bryan Edwards. They added a bevy of receivers through free agency as well — Geronimo Allison, Auden Tate, Damiere Byrd, and KhaDarel Hodge, among others.
The Falcons’ roster currently boasts 13(!!) receivers… Well, on Friday, at the team’s open practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Arthur Smith explained why the team is accumulating so many pass catchers.
“At this time of year because we don’t have to line up and play a real game you may go heavy (at receiver),” Smith said. “It’s an extended two- to three-week trial for certain guys at certain skill positions.”
The thought process is the Falcons can always cut skill positions and bring in trench players as the team approaches training camp. The evaluation process has begun, and the skill positions are the ones getting the most looks, given the restrictions placed on teams during OTAs.
Atlanta went heavy 7-on-7 during the open practice to see how these receivers fit in the offense and with the signal callers. The Falcons are essentially having one big try-out at receiver.
“We want to enhance that (receiver) room and if we think there’s a guy out there that could possibly make this team or make our room better we’re going to bring them in,” Smith said.
Photographer: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire