Back in late January, we begged you not to sleep on Calvin Ridley in fantasy this season. And following just one organized team practice with his new club, it appears that Ridley is back to his ankle-breaking ways.
“Ridley simply moves differently than any other wide receiver on the field,” wrote Jags beat reporter John Shipley. “The pacing and tempo in his routes, the quickness of his feet, and his ability change up his approach to routes even when he isn’t getting the ball all stand out.”
Shipley also noted a play where the former Falcon wideout “plucked a fastball from Trevor Lawrence out of the air with ease.”
Yeah, it’s only one OTA where players are in shorts and helmets, but Ridley has impressed reporters and most importantly, his offensive coordinator, Press Taylor.
“I’ve been really impressed with Calvin. I’ve watched every snap Calvin’s played in the NFL, just like a lot of our guys have. So we’re very confident in the player we’re getting,” Taylor told the media.
Ridley slides into an ascending Jaguars offense that took a giant leap last year with Trevor Lawrence, Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Evan Engram, and Travis Etienne. Ridley’s ability to make plays from the outside will push Kirk into the slot, where both will thrive in their natural roles.
“And then to be able to meet him in person, we’ve had a lot of people that vouched for him, obviously going back to when we acquired him, but the work he’s put in this offseason has been impressive just in terms of meaning the extra work he does,” Taylor continued.
“And you can tell he is doing it because he comes in the next day, he’s got his list of questions, and they’re very thought out. You can tell he’s peeked ahead of the install or just looking a couple of days ahead as we go on. So he’s done a great job, just intermixing with the group and making his own role.”
The last time we really saw Ridley on the field was back in 2020 when Julio Jones missed extensive time with injuries. That season, Ridley racked up over 1,300 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 90 receptions. He also averaged a career-best 15.3 yards per catch and 91.6 receiving yards per game.
The Wolf slots in Ridley at WR16 (+11 vs ECR!!) on his most recent update of our 2023 Fantasy Football Rankings & Big Board.