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Examining the Falcons’ 1st-round options: Wide receiver

If a wide receiver is the best player available, should Atlanta pull the trigger?

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Having a draft pick in the top 5 is actually somewhat rare for the Falcons. The last time it happened was in 2008 in the aftermath of the Michael Vick scandal and the Bobby Petrino disaster of 2007. Having a pick this high gives you a host of options, with the hope being that you won’t be here again for a long while.

In this series, we’ll take a look at all the different ways the Falcons can use this pick to rebuild under a new regime. Today, we consider the option of grabbing a wide receiver.

Why it makes sense

The Falcons have had remarkable luck with having a continuous run of good to great receivers. From Roddy White to Julio Jones and now Calvin Ridley, the team has been able to keep top-notch talent at the position, and has added a young gifted receiver every time their current top tier option is getting closer to aging out of elite play.

While Calvin Ridley is still in his prime, Julio Jones is clearly in the last few years of his career. Adding a player like Devonta Smith may not make sense right now, but in 2 or 3 years this could create a dominant 1-2 combo as he and Ridley take over after Julio retires. For a team that is finally focusing on offense from the top, stacking the roster with elite talent at this position could give Atlanta a truly dominant passing game for years, whether Matt Ryan is under a center or a new quarterback eventually takes over.

Why it might be the wrong move

The Falcons have several good options at wide receiver already. Calvin Ridley is hitting his prime and Julio Jones still has a year or two left. Russell Gage has also shown he can be a viable option, though whether he can be a true WR2 remains to be seen.

Investing in this position again is a luxury the team can’t afford when they have so many other holes on the roster. If anything, receiver is currently a strength for this team and a first round pick at receiver likely won’t contribute much in 2021. If Arthur Smith is an offensive genius, he shouldn’t need 3 top-notch receivers to succeed, which means he’d either be looking to move Julio or not bothering to pick a receiver here.

What do you think? Would you support another first round pick on a wide receiver? Let us know in the comments below.