Julio Jones is gone, but the Atlanta Falcons have another wide receiver from the University of Alabama.
Calvin Ridley excelled as the No. 1 option in Tuscaloosa for three years, and now he welcomes the challenge in the pros.
After being taken in the first round (No. 26 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft, Ridley totaled 800+ yards receiving in his first two seasons.
The South Florida native would explode last year with 90 catches for 1,374 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
Ridley had eight 100-yard games, averaged 15.3 yards per catch, and was targeted 143 times.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder made second-team All-Pro for his efforts and has been present at minicamp with the Falcons. He is coming off foot surgery, but he’s been able to participate in walkthroughs and team meetings.
Ridley is not able to go at full speed; however, he will be ready for training camp. According to different beat reporters for the Falcons, Ridley said he learned a lot of confidence from Julio Jones.
The competition between the two receivers made Ridley better.
.@AtlantaFalcons WR Calvin Ridley said he has been trending toward being a No. 1 and welcomes it. Said he has been double-team since his 2nd year so that won’t be anything new. Added that he was always working to out-do Julio Jones and now has to fine someone else – “Matt Ryan.”
— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) June 15, 2021
Calvin Ridley said “no pressure” on replacing Julio Jones as the No.1 receiver on the Falcons.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) June 15, 2021
Calvin Ridley said he’s been right there with the team every step of this offseason so far. The only thing the foot surgery has hindered is his ability to practice full speed. But he’s been in every meeting and able to participate in every walkthrough.
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) June 15, 2021
He feels “no pressure” about taking over as the primary target for Matt Ryan.
We have seen Ridley’s growth from his rookie season to this point. His targets will increase in the fall, and the third-year player may also become a popular pick for fantasy football.
He was a national champion in college, but his focus is now getting the Falcons to a Vince Lombardi Trophy.
*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber-only content!*