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Will 2020 be Calvin Ridley’s true breakout season?

There’s plenty of reason to think so.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Calvin Ridley’s 2019 season ended on a disappointing note thanks to injury, but it was still another mighty successful season for the 2018 first rounder. The question as we think ahead to 2020 is what he might be capable of next year.

Ridley is entering his third year with plenty of success under his belt already. In 29 games thus far, he has 127 receptions for 1,683 yards and 17 touchdowns, numbers that make him a high-end second receiver. That’s exactly what he is next to Julio Jones, but there’s potentially more and better to come.

The third year tends to be an excellent breakout year for receivers. Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay, and Cooper Kupp all broke out massively in year three in 2019, and the third full year for both Julio Jones and Roddy White saw them improve pretty massively over the years that came before. That, Ridley’s evident talent, and the departure of Mohamed Sanu paired with the possible departure of Austin Hooper suggests that Ridley could dominate next season.

What would a breakout season look like? Because Ridley is already scoring at a good clip, we’re probably looking at greater volume in terms of targets, 80-100 receptions after he has been in the 60s each of the last two years, and over 1,000 yards. Even if Hooper returns and the Falcons draft another young receiver, it feels like they’re going to move on from Devonta Freeman and there will be more targets to go around next season.

It’s early to declare such things, but I fully expect Ridley to have his best year yet in 2020, and it could be a damn memorable one. Let’s hope.