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Falcons 2016 roster review: Wide receiver

Introducing Julio Jones and company.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons' top three options at wide receiver are likely set heading into the season, but there could be a tiny bit of movement on the back end with the players expected to largely play special teams.

Let's take a look.

Julio Jones

What's there to say about Jones? He's coming off a monster season that saw him rack up 136 receptions for 1,871 yards — both franchise records. Widening the scope to the NFL's history, those 136 catches rank second only to Marvin Harrison's 143 set in 2002, and the yardage total trails only Calvin Johnson's 1,964 in 2012. He also scored eight touchdowns — the most he's had in three seasons. Expect another dominant season from one of the league's best receivers.


Mohamed Sanu

The Falcons paid a hefty price for Sanu, and they're banking on the fifth-year receiver, who finished last season with 33 receptions for 394 yards and zero touchdowns, to put together the best year of his career. Sanu's best season came in 2014 when he was thrust into a bigger role with injuries to A.J. Green and Marvin Jones. That year, he hauled in 56 balls for 790 yards and five touchdowns. However, he also ranked among the league leaders in drops. While Sanu's not the fastest receiver, he's physical and isn't afraid of contact. Let's hope he lives up to his contract.


Justin Hardy

Hardy was inactive for several games last season as he adjusted to learning an NFL playbook, but once he was able to get on the field he was able to contribute. He was surprisingly one of Matt Ryan's go-to targets to third down and shorter routes. He should receive more targets as he figures to slide in as Atlanta's slot receiver.


Devin Hester

Hester underwent surgery on his big toe back in January, and he's still working his way back. Don't be surprised if the league's greatest returner ends up being a cap casualty, despite Dan Quinn's recent endorsement. Hester's slated to count $3 million against the cap and he's 33 years old. Yikes.


Eric Weems

Weems has been one of the Falcons' best special teamers since he's been with the team. He doesn't offer much as a receiver, but his special teams ability may grant him another year.


Nick Williams

The Falcons brought Williams aboard after he didn't appear in a regular season game in 2014. Undoubtedly, his familiarity with Kyle Shanahan's system helped him get a job with the team. Williams did have a nice little streak going as he caught a pass in the team's first seven games, and he may be in for a similar reserve role in 2016.


Aldrick Robinson

Robinson's speed makes him an intriguing deep threat. Like Williams, he's familiar with Shanahan from their Washington Redskins days, which likely explains why the Falcons signed him in March. If he does make the final roster, he'll at least force defenses to respect his speed when he's on the field.


Devin Fuller

Atlanta drafted Fuller with their final pick in the 2016 NFL draft. He ran a 4.39 at his pro day and while it's unlikely he makes an impact as a receiver, he could be used as a returner.


Also currently on the roster: David Gidden, Daje Johnson, Jordan Leslie, J.D. McKissic


Obviously, there's a pretty large gap between Jones and everyone else. The Falcons will need the other receivers to step up to ensure Jones isn't the only threat.