5 breakout stars to watch for Atlanta Falcons in 2020

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
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Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Falcons. 1. 44. Scouting Report. WR. Calvin Ridley. player. Pick Analysis

To say wide receiver Calvin Ridley is a breakout star when he’s already put together two quality seasons in the league is a bit of a stretch, but 2020 could be the year he becomes a Pro Bowl-caliber player. Atlanta used its first-round pick on the former Alabama Crimson Tide standout. Ridley was poised to be the next star Alabama wide receiver in the league.

Though he may never become as good as his NFL teammate Julio Jones is at the professional level, Ridley is capable of being a 1,000-yard receiver and a guy who can haul in eight touchdown grabs annually. On some NFL teams, he’d be a No. 1 receiving option, but in Atlanta, he’s playing opposite of a future first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer in Jones. Look for Ridley to eat this year.

This will be year three for Ridley in Atlanta, meaning he’s caught balls from Matt Ryan for three years. This will also be his second season playing in Dirk Koetter’s offense. Usually by the second year of an offense, Ryan puts up impressive numbers. He won NFL MVP in his second season in Kyle Shanahan’s offense in 2016. Ridley will be key if Atlanta pushes for playoff contention.

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Had Ridley stayed healthy and played the final three games of the season, he would have gone over 1,000 receiving yards and might have had a shot back-to-back 10 touchdown reception seasons. Thus far in his NFL career, Ridley has been a good receiver. Should he put it all together, he can be great in Atlanta like Roddy White was opposite Jones several years ago.