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Falcons QB Matt Ryan finding his No. 2 option in rookie Calvin Ridley

© Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

He does not have Julio Jones for organized team activities, but Matt Ryan might have found his number two option for next season in Calvin Ridley.

The first-round pick and former Alabama receiver made the Atlanta Falcons quarterback look good in a two-minute-drill on Wednesday. 

Per Falcons’ beat writer Will McFadden, head coach Dan Quinn and Ryan have both been thoroughly impressed so far with Ridley’s efforts. He caught two passes from Ryan late in practice, to set up a field goal as time expired. Before getting selected as the 26th overall pick, Ridley was the favorite target for Jacob Coker and Jalen Hurts during his time in Tuscaloosa. 

While his Crimson Tide career saw him finish second all-time in receptions (224), Ryan is already predicting success in the National Football League for his new teammate. 

“Calvin, he’s been excellent,” Ryan told McFadden. “Really talented, really smart, very detailed in his work and works extremely hard. He’s a good addition for us. What I have really seen is excellent transition in and out of breaks, it’s as good as anyone I’ve been around.” 

Hearing this type of praise from an NFL signal-caller, who is about to enter his 11th season, has to be gratifying for a two-time College Football Playoff National Champion. Despite him not having an All-American year in 2017, Ridley totaled 967 receiving yards with five touchdowns and could be the missing piece to Atlanta finally securing a Super Bowl championship. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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