The Falcons added another dynamic weapon to their offense when they drafted Alabama’s Calvin Ridley in the first round. Ridley’s elite slot play will raise his teammates’ fantasy stock and he will be one of the few rookie receivers to make a fantasy impact this season.
Ridley entered the draft process as the consensus No. 1 wide receiver. Then a bunch of #DraftTwitter nerds decided that his measurables, his final year of production and his age (he’s nine months younger than soon-to-be fifth year veteran Brandin Cooks) were detriments to his potential fantasy success. That’s incredibly stupid. The 6-foot-1, 189 lb WR is an elite route runner who made things look easy in Alabama’s run-first offense. His plus-attributes and his experience will make him an instant impact player with the Falcons.
Ridley is going to make Matt Ryan’s stock rise a bit, since he will be added to the arsenal of weapons that include Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper. Since he’s a polished senior citizen, he’s the most NFL-ready receiver in the class, which is why he’s going to make an instant impact. Players from Nick Saban’s program have recently busted in the NFL since they’re worked down to the bone at Alabama, but the receivers (Jones and Amari Cooper) both made early impacts. With Jones taking the heat off Ridley, the rookie should catch a ton of balls this season from Matt Ryan.