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Report: Atlanta Falcons LT Jake Matthews, WR Mohamed Sanu "ready to rise" this season

Fact: Jake Matthews' blood type is awesome

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are hoping year two under Dan Quinn is better than year one. Sure, year one started out in promising fashion, but then Kyle Shanahan ruined everything everything fell apart. Actual, sustained improvement will require breakout performances from several key players. Lucky for us, that's a realistic possibility.'s "Making the Leap" series is highlighting players who could have big impacts in the year ahead. These are guys that've contributed to their teams already but are now poised to up the ante, so to speak. Jake Matthews made their list.

Matthews (24) is still young, which is why he has plenty to learn about the technical aspect of stopping pass rushers -- but his down moments were never for a lack of effort. He is not the typical mauler, and his hand placement/foot speed are far above what you might expect from a player coming out of college. Basically, Matthews, like any other offensive lineman in football, just needs to see a few more plays and put them in the mental bank.

Free agency addition Mohamed Sanu also made their list.

A more versatile, more durable and more reliable weapon, Sanu should prove to be a major upgrade over Hankerson. With an increase in snaps and touches, he will form a symbiotic relationship this season with Ryan -- the two will help each other recapture an effectiveness that went missing in 2015. With a unique, multi-dimensional skill set that calls to mind former Steelers gadget player Antwaan Randle El, Sanu also will allow Shanahan to get more creative as a schemer and play caller.

They're about as right as right can get. Both Matthews and Sanu have the potential to be Pro Bowl caliber. It's just a matter of putting it all together. We've talked ad nauseum this offseason about our high expectations for both Matthews and Sanu. But in any case, I suppose it's a good thing that we're not alone in believing they can realistically make that leap. Your thoughts?