Judging by Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Falcons could use a little help within their receiving corps.
While top receiver Calvin Ridley and 2021 first-round draft pick Kyle Pitts are top of the line options, the team doesn’t have a ton of reliability behind those guys outside of Russell Gage, who might be a bit hobbled going forward with an ankle injury.
For that reason and potentially many more, the Falcons worked out veteran receiver John Brown, who is known for his blistering speed. It should be noted that no signing is imminent, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Veteran wide receiver John Brown worked out for the Falcons today, per source. Atlanta could be adding some Smoke to their receiving corps, though nothing imminent.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 21, 2021
The 2014 Arizona Cardinals draft pick out of Pittsburgh State played out in the desert for four seasons before signing with the Baltimore Ravens with a free agent in 2018. He then headed up to Buffalo, where he played in 2019 and 2020.
In a limited season last year, Brown hauled in 458 yards and three touchdown, but he was a 1,000-yard receiver for the Bills in 2019 with 1,060 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
He’s been a very productive receiver for the duration of his career in a supporting role, and it’s a bit shocking to see the Oakland Raiders, a team he signed with in March after being released by Buffalo, part ways with him before the season. Injuries might be a concern after he was placed IR last fall, but if he’s healthy, he’d be a slam dunk addition for Atlanta given his talent.
Brown is a speedy vertical threat, and the Falcons really don’t have an abundance of those right now. 2021 sixth-round pick Frank Darby was hoped to fill in some of that need, but it doesn’t yet seem like the team is ready to give him meaningful reps, if any reps at all. Brown could step in and give Ryan a proven, capable threat, and could pose a real problem downfield if the Falcons ever cobble together an offense that can take those kinds of shots.
We’ll see if Brown ultimately signs with the Falcons. He could be a practice squad addition while he gets up to speed, or perhaps the team throws him on the 53-man roster right away. With Gage a free agent next spring, Brown coming to Atlanta and playing to his usual quality might give the team a nice, cost-friendly receiving option to re-sign going forward.
Hopefully, he will sign.