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Get to know Falcons WR Xavier Malone

An exclusive Q&A with Falcons wide receiver Xavier Malone.

The 2023 NFL Draft has come and gone. In all, 259 prospects were drafted although many more hoped to hear their name called over the weekend. The dream of playing in the NFL does not end for them, as for the Atlanta Falcons, six undrafted rookies have been signed and have an opportunity to prove themselves this summer. Wide receiver was an important need for the Falcons which wasn’t addressed in the recent draft, but three of the Falcons’ six UDFA signings were receivers.

For the third consecutive year, my undrafted free agent series returns as I strive to allow the fans to get to know the UDFAs the team signs a little better. In recent years, I’ve spoken with Caleb Huntley, Dorian Etheridge, and Ryan Neuzil who are on the team's roster. To kick off my 2023 UDFA series, I had the pleasure of speaking with wide receiver Xavier Malone, and asked him some questions to allow the fans to get to know him a little better.

How did Henderson State help you achieve your goal of becoming an NFL player?

I would say experiencing the things I went to while at Henderson. You know, losing loved ones through the process really gave me more reasons to chase my dreams. I was blessed to be around some guys that loved the game as much as me.

Favorite moment playing for Henderson State?

My favorite moment is most definitely the Battle Of The Ravine game against our rivals (Ouachita Baptist) from across the street. Coming from a small school that game is just a different feeling and I actually threw my first career touchdown.

Is there any certain player you model your game on? Favorite player?

I feel like it’s no need to copy others play because everybody has their own style. I had a couple guys I grew up liking to watch such as Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Cordarrelle Patterson, Randy — I could keep going.

What do you like most about football in general?

The grind it takes to win, and even though there’s beauty in losing too, the grind is what makes it all worth it. There’s no way around the grind to be successful. If you want it, you’ll make sure you work hard enough to get it.

What do you bring to the Atlanta Falcons?

I can bring multiple things to this organization, I feel like, everybody sees the speed but it’s way more to it, my YAC and break tackles shows. I’m a smaller guy that can go up and win 50/50 balls with taller DB’s. Even coming into the league I feel as if my ceiling is still high because I haven’t had top notch facilities or training.

How familiar are you with the Falcons’ franchise?

I feel I’m pretty familiar with it. Of course, watching [Michael] Vick and Julio [Jones] when I was younger just made me watch a little more.

Did you have offers to sign with other teams, and what made the Falcons seem like a good fit for you?

Yes, I had a couple. I was always familiar with Atlanta but it was just a lot of prayer and thoughts that went into my decision. I’m glad I made the choice!

I have to agree with Xavier, I’m glad he made the choice of signing with the Falcons, too. After two seasons at Northeast Mississippi Community College, Malone transferred to D2 Henderson State, where he played from 2021-2022. In two seasons and just 22 games for the Reddies, Malone recorded 135 receptions for 2,352 yards and 18 touchdowns. He ranks third all-time at Henderson State in career receiving yards, fourth in touchdowns and fifth in receptions.

Although as he mentioned, he’s a smaller receiver, measuring in unofficially at 5’8, Malone has elite speed (4.36s 40) and explosiveness, which is very welcome on a team that could use both. Malone is definitely someone to keep an eye on this summer in camp and has a real opportunity in my eyes to land on the 53 man roster when it’s all said and done.