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Falcons position group reviews: Is wide receiver better in 2016?

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Our series looking at improvement (or decline) in position groups across the Falcons roster. We continue by looking at wide receivers.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Welcome to our final running series of the offseason! We’ll be going position-by-position and simply deciding whether that position is in better shape in 2016 than 2015. Enjoy!

2016 Wide Receiver Projection

Julio Jones (Starter)

Mohamed Sanu (Starter)

Justin Hardy

Nick Williams

Aldrick Robinson

Devin Fuller

2015 Wide Receiver Depth Chart

Julio Jones (Starter)

Leonard Hankerson (Starter)

Roddy White

Justin Hardy

Nick Williams

Eric Weems

Devin Hester

At first glance, this receiver group looks like a push. Julio is still a superstar, of course, but the big question is how will Mohamed Sanu fair in this offense? It was clear that Roddy White was not a fit (or Kyle Shanahan didn’t think he was a fit, depending on your point of view) and Hankerson flashed potential until injuries - and stone hands - derailed his season.

The wild card in this group may be the performance of guys like Justin Hardy and Aldrick Robinson. Hardy had a rough time transitioning to the NFL last year, but came on towards the end of the season. Early reports are that Hardy looks far more comfortable on the field than he did last year. Just going from year one to year two should yield big strides for the young receiver. Robinson is a speedster who can really stretch the field, something that was sorely missing (outside of Julio) on the 2015 roster.

Is it better?

Assuming Julio continues to be in-human, and Sanu can at least replicate the combined production of White and Hankerson, I believe this group is improved over last year, even if just slightly. Hardy should take a big leap forward and see far more snaps. There’s also the added benefit of many of these guys being in the system for a full season now, so the experience should begin to pay off in 2016. Having a QB more comfortable in the system won’t hurt either.

While the improvement may not be dramatic, I do think this group will be better in 2016. What say you?