Calvin Ridley is yet another excellent example of why it's a dangerous game to overate combine metrics in evaluating the wide receiver position. Ridley separated with ease at Alabama, using nuanced and advanced route-running to create separation against all types of man coverage. His skill set translated immediately at the NFL level and he enters 2021 as one of the game's best route runners and safest draft picks, specifically in PPR formats. Ridley's profile suggests a Stefon Diggs-esque jump in 2021, but with Julio Jones still in the offense and rookie Kyle Pitts joining the battle for targets, the kind of volume necessary for that kind of Fantasy-related jump may not be there. Regardless, Ridley is a high-floor target at the Round 2/3 turn.
Ridley (foot) is going through individual drills at the beginning of Thursday's practice, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.comreports. Ridley is back on the field for the start of training camp after a minor foot surgery prevented him from participating in June minicamp. Even if the Falcons ease him into team drills, he'll have plenty of time to ramp up for Week 1 against the Eagles (Sept. 12). With Julio Jones out of the picture, Ridley is among the favorites to lead the NFL in targets this year, though new coach Arthur Smith presumably hopes to install a more balanced offense in Atlanta.
Ridley, who underwent what has been described as minor offseason foot surgery, is "pretty sure (he'll) be ready" for the start of training camp, Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports. While Ridley is not practicing at this time, he has been present at the Falcons' facility rehabbing, working out and participating in walk-throughs. With Julio Jones no longer in the mix, Ridley profiles as the team's clear-cut top wideout, a context that solidifies his already high-volume role in Atlanta's offense.
Ridley recently underwent minor foot surgery, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Ridley wasn't present for the start of minicamp for an unspecified reason, but he apparently underwent a cleanup procedure on his foot recently. He won't participate in minicamp, but he could be ready for the start of training camp in late July. Even if the 26-year-old misses the start of training camp, he's "not in danger" of missing the start of the season, according to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic. Ridley is slated to begin the 2021 campaign as Atlanta's clear No. 1 receiver after Julio Jones was traded to the Titans over the weekend.
Ridley is the clear No. 1 receiver in Atlanta with the team having agreed to trade Julio Jones to Tennessee, ESPN.com reports. Ridley had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns on 143 targets last season while playing in 15 games to Jones' nine. Jones eclipsed 143 targets in all but one of the previous six seasons, topping out at 203 in 2015, and Ridley also can expect to have the ball thrown his way more frequently as the undisputed No. 1 wide receiver in Atlanta's pass-heavy offense. Ridley will have to contend with the opponent's No. 1 cornerback more often with Jones no longer in town to take away attention, but the increase in volume should more than make up for the higher difficulty of matchups.
The Falcons exercised Ridley's $11.12 million team option for 2022 on Monday, Gaby Moran of Atlanta's official site reports. Atlanta likely didn't have to think too hard about whether to extend Ridley's rookie contract to a fifth year after he emerged as one of the NFL's top wideouts in 2020. Following a pair of promising campaigns to begin his career, Ridley catapulted to stardom last season, claiming second-team All-Pro honors after amassing 90 receptions for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. Ridley and Julio Jones will remain locked in as the No. 1 and 2 options in some order in a strong Atlanta passing game that was bolstered this offseason with the addition of No. 4 overall pick Kyle Pitts, who is widely viewed as one of the top pass-catching tight end draft prospects in recent memory.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||19||23.50|
|3||09/26||@New York Giants||9||20.38|
|4||10/03||Washington Football Team||5||19.35|
|5||10/10||New York Jets||18||23.13|
|9||11/07||@New Orleans Saints||16||22.00|
|11||11/18||New England Patriots||10||20.63|
|13||12/05||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||19||23.50|
|15||12/19||@San Francisco 49ers||15||21.50|
|18||01/09||New Orleans Saints||16||22.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||110||72||1020||9||50||14.17||158|