We're continuing to take looks at the depth charts of various positions. Today, we take on that dynamic but not necessarily deep group that we like to call wide receivers.
This one's pretty easy for the top three, at least. Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas are locked in due to their talent and familiarity with the offense, and both White and Jones will be counted on for huge production in 2012. Jones, in particular, could wreak havoc on the NFL in his second season if he's healthy. His rookie 54/959/17.8/8 slash line (catches/yards/average/touchdowns) was incredibly impressive for a freshman receiver without a full off-season.
After that, though, things start to get a little murkier. The fourth receiver, tentatively, is Kerry Meier. He's contributed on special teams but hasn't made an impact as a receiver up until this point. With Eric Weems gone, the Falcons will be looking hard for someone who can chip in on special teams and develop behind him. I can't even guarantee Meier will make the final roster, though I consider it likely.
Assuming the Falcons carry five receivers, here are the options for those last two slots, barring any unforeseen signings.
Kerry Meier: A good special teamer, familiar with the offense, has the size and hands to become a decent receiving option sooner than later. Hasn't really developed into that option yet, in part thanks to injury.
Kevin Cone: Paid his dues on the practice squad last year. Great wheels, good size and considerable promise. Unproven. You're going to see that last word again in a moment.
Michael Calvin: Like Cone, great size and speed combination. Had a habit of disappearing during games at Cal, but the raw talent is there. Unproven.
Drew Davis: Stuck it out on the practice squad a year ago. Not quite the same size/speed combination as the last two, but probably the more polished route runner right now. Unproven.
James Rodgers: Brother of Jacquizz. Really short, but good hands and good speed. Unproven.
Cody Pearcy: Has project written all over him, and at 5'11", 160 pounds, quite small. Absolutely incredible speed and athleticism, though, and an intriguing prospect as a returner. Unproven.
As you can see, there's a lot of intriguing athleticism and promise amongst these undrafted free agent types, but not a lot of out-of-the-box playing potential. Fortunately, with three receivers like the Falcons have on top of the depth chart and Tony Gonzalez at tight end, they can let whoever makes the roster develop for a year.
Your best guess?