One of the hot story lines out of Falcons training camp involves Martel Moore, who has been vacuuming up passes, displaying maturity and athleticism and generally looking like a sleeper for a roster spot. Stop me if this sounds familiar to you.
That's because we've heard this before, about UDFA receivers in each of the last few years. Some of them tantalized with raw ability and others with consistency, but the common thread is that each of them has made a positive impression early and gone on to do...well, not a whole lot.
EDIT: Next section revised.
Brandyn Harvey! Harvey was a big, athletically gifted wide receiver who impressed early. He battled injuries and drops before being cut loose, though he did spend some real time with the team.
- Kevin Cone! Cone is a big, athletically gifted wide receiver who impressed early. He's battled injuries and drops and hasn't been able to grab any playing time.
- Drew Davis! Davis is an athletically gifted receiver who impressed early and actually got some playing time. Given the crowded competition for snaps, he was only able to make a limited impact, but he goes into 2013 as the favorite for #4 receiver duties.
The common thread is that all of these guys seem to have the tools necessary to make an impact, but none have of yet. Davis has the best shot going forward, but that's three receivers who were hyped and haven't made much of a difference. There are more, too, from Kerry Meier (drafted!) to Marcus Jackson (still love that guy!). We tend to get excited about these guys because they're new, because UDFAs present such a compelling story and they really do look amazing early in camp.
Maybe Martel Moore will be the guy who bucks the trend and winds up carving out a real role for these Atlanta Falcons, but it's too early to start thinking that way, and you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you get too attached. Until we roll into pre-season and he continues this level of performance, Moore looks more like the latest in a string of guys who got our hopes up.
Maybe you don't agree, though. Sound off!