As you might expect, I'm targeting players down the depth chart to watch through pre-season, a practice that will change once we hit the season. That brings us to Brandyn Harvey.
Now, the Falcons have a lot of options if they're going to carry a sixth wide receiver. Drew Davis has reportedly looked good in practices, catching everything and running well. Tim Buckley, according to our own Jeanna Thomas, has been far and away one of the best special teamers going. Andy Strickland has looked sharp, too.
Yet Harvey's still the one I want to watch, because I still believe he has the best shot of making the final roster. After a mostly dismal pre-season in 2010, Harvey was brought back to the practice squad and given a chance to develop. As a result, the 6'4" Villanova product has looked much more polished this pre-season, and he made a couple of very acrobatic catches against the Dolphins.
What Harvey could bring to the table for the Falcons is obvious. He's big, has nice wheels and appears to have improved both his hands and his route running since last year. The Falcons don't necessarily lack size at the position—Kerry Meier and Julio Jones both stand 6'3"—but Harvey still has potential as a big red zone threat down the line. He has the potential to be another Michael Jenkins type, but with perhaps a little more explosiveness and a little less disappointment due to draft status.
The question is whether he can survive cuts given the team's likely reluctance to carry six receivers. The only thing h can do is play his tail off, and so the Jaguars game will prove to be a critical one for him. Look for him to be a target on more than one pass once the reserves roll in.
Do you think Harvey's worth keeping a close eye on? Suggest your own Falcon to watch if you've got one.