Julio Jones Injury Gives Drew Davis, Kevin Cone A Chance To Shine

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Finding that sliver of silver in a big, dark cloud.

The Falcons are going to miss Julio Jones. That much is clear.

There's opportunity to be found for others here, though, and there could be some good that comes out of a deeply unfortunate situation. That good would come in the former of Drew Davis and Kevin Cone making something of their increased playing time.

We know Harry Douglas and Roddy White will be full-time starters going forward, more than likely, so we won't dwell too much on them until we get closer to the Buccaneers game. I'll certainly have some thoughts on HD in particular. But there's virtually no way that the speedy Davis and Cone don't see an increase in snaps and opportunities, which is a boon for both after the coaching staff has done little to nothing to get them involved up to this point.

Cone might actually be the likeliest to see a major increase. He has borderline elite wheels, which is what made the Falcons sign him as a UDFA in 2011 to begin with. He's bounced back and forth between the practice squad and active roster a bit, but there's no denying that if Cone is over the drop issue that seemed to plague him in preseason opportunities, he has the tools to be a mighty useful player. Hopefully that big third down grab against the Jets was a sign of things to come.

Davis is also a fast receiver, but we know he has pretty decent hands. Last year he got involved on a limited basis and reeled in four catches for 40 yards. His biggest issue to this point has been running clean routes and getting separation on a consistent basis, but he'll now have some time to work on that.

Both of these guys can also block, which is huge for a Falcons team that has had little to no success running the football for long stretches. There's no reason, on paper, that both Cone and Davis shouldn't be useful receiving options for this team, even if they only see a handful of targets each week.

With White potentially leaving after next season and the Falcons having real question marks for receiver depth, Cone and/or Davis emerging would make a huge difference. Probably neither of them have ceilings higher than a third receiver, but hell, I'd take that.

Wouldn't you?

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