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Falcons OTAs: Calvin Ridley already impressing Matt Ryan

The Falcons’ rookie wide receiver is turning heads so far in the offseason.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons added speed and route running prowess to their wide receiving corps in the form of first-rounder Calvin Ridley, and his footwork and aptitude for getting open has already made an impression on the guy that matters most on the field: quarterback Matt Ryan.

Ryan had some glowing words for Ridley after Wednesday’s practice, lauding the young receiver’s work ethic, football IQ, and advanced ability as a route runner.

That’s a solid early performance review from the 2016 NFL MVP.

The addition of Calvin Ridley on Atlanta’s offense arguably gives the Falcons one of the league’s top offenses, and he should thrive against defensive schemes that prioritize shut down Julio Jones at all costs. A premiere route runner and pass catcher at Alabama, the fact that Ridley’s opening eyes of the team’s offensive leader in OTAs is a tremendously encouraging sign. If Calvin Ridley and Matt Ryan can form an early cohesion in the passing game, it should spell dire news for opposing secondaries this season.

Ridley was somewhat of a surprise pick at 26 in the 2018 NFL Draft, but it appears he’s striking all of the right chords with the team early on in OTAs.