We’ve been lamenting the state of the Falcons wide receiver group for weeks now, but it was always clear the team was going to be adding players. You can’t roll into the 2022 season with Olamide Zaccheaus and Frank Darby as your two top wide receivers, however fond we might be of both players.
He’s not a big name and he’s certainly not a player that was on our radar, but the Falcons have added a wide receiver in former Ram, Brown, and Lion KhaDarel Hodge.
We have signed WR KhaDarel Hodge to a one-year contract.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) March 25, 2022
To this point in his career, Hodge has been a lightly-utilized weapon. The 27-year-old has 30 receptions for 430 yards in a four-year career, with most of that production coming over the last two seasons. Last year he reeled in 13 catches on 27 targets for 157 yards with the Lions, the best marks of his career to this point. He has played a significant role on special teams basically wherever he’s gone, especially as a gunner, and will presumably take on a similar role for Marquice Williams in Atlanta.
Hodge may have some untapped upside as a wide receiver we haven’t seen yet, but initially I’d expect him to slot in as the fifth receiver, with the #1 and #2 option on the depth chart joining up either via free agency over the draft. He may be able to pass Frank Darby if the second-year pro isn’t ready for a bigger role, but Olamide Zaccheaus should be penciled in as the third option on the depth chart for now given the difficulty of turning over the entire depth chart in one offseason, and because OZ has proven to be a solid option when called upon. Regardless of how things shake out, you’re more likely to see Hodge carving out a significant role on special teams than in this receiving corps.
Welcome KhaDarel Hodge to Atlanta, if you would!