For all the talk about Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst, one would be forgiven for forgetting about third year receiver Russell Gage. The 2018 sixth round pick was expected to mostly contribute on special teams, but jumped out in 2019 with 446 yards and an increased role on the offense.
How many yards can he reasonably be expected to contribute in 2020, though? Let’s take a look.
As mentioned above, Gage is going to struggle to get significant snaps with guys like Julio and Calvin eating up targets. Yet, he still managed to pull in 446 with those guys last year. With Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper gone, Gage may have a few more opportunities than he did last year. While I don’t expect a major jump in productivity, a baseline of 520 seems like a decent place to start.
The case for the under
Dirk Koetter had a hard time taking advantage of all his weapons in 2019. The addition of Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst could very well make Gage an afterthought in the mind of the Falcons OC. His 446 yards were impressive, but there’s no indication he’s slotted for an expanded role this year. With at least 4 guys ahead of him on the target depth chart, getting back to his 2019 total may be difficult.
The case for the over
Gage has impressed in his first two years. For a player largely expected to contribute only on special teams, he made a huge leap between years one and two. If he can simply continue that progress, his production and opportunities should definitely increase. Plus, Ryan has a level of familiarity with Gage that he doesn’t yet have with Hurst and Gurley. That alone could put a few more targets in his direction.
Will Gage improve on his 2019 yardage total? Let your voice be heard in our poll.
Over/Under: Gage 2020 yards
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Give me the over
I’ll take the under