At last, it's time to take a closer look at a wide receiver I believe would be a perfect fit for the Atlanta Falcons.
I've made no secret of my desire to have Edmond Gates don the black and red, but up until now I mostly confined my praise for the guy to the comments of various articles. I thought it would be a good time to see what Gates has to offer to the Falcons.
First off, there's speed. He ran a blazing 4.37 40-yard-dash at the Combine and possesses the second best long jump out of any receiving prospect, behind one A.J. Green. Then there's the size, because at 6' and about 190 pounds, he's bigger than your average slot receiver. He also happens to have been very productive at Abilene Christian, even if it was a small school.
It's that combination that makes me think he'd be an ideal fit for the Falcons, who need speed, a little size and a lot of production at wide receiver behind Roddy White. Gates will need a little time to develop--I don't think it's realistic to expect him to catch 50+ passes at the NFL level immediately--but I think he's a worthwhile project with immense upside.
The only challenge will be getting to him before other teams do. His impressive Combine has driven up his stock, with NFL.com's Gil Brandt speculating that he could go in the third or fourth round. If the Falcons like him enough, they may be able to work that out.
What are your thoughts on the state of Gates?