A Look Ahead – Atlanta’s 2009 Wide Receivers

Starters: Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Tony Gonzalez.

The Falcons’ passing game was in full swing by the end of 2008 with Matt Ryan improving by the possession.  Roddy White turning from a very good receiver in 2007 to one of the best in the NFL heading into 2009.  He has speed, great ability to play the ball in the air, and his hands are vastly better than his first couple seasons.  Michael Jenkins had his best season yet in 2008.  Both are great blockers in the running game in addition to big targets for Ryan.  Trading for Tony Gonzalez was the missing piece and pure gravy for Atlanta in 2009.  They traded a 2nd round pick in 2010 for the future Hall of Famer, so this coming season is basically free.  Gonzalez gives Ryan a great target over the middle that will open up everyone from Roddy White to Michael Turner.  Gonzalez gives Atlanta one of the best offenses in football heading into 2009.

Reserves: Harry Douglas, Brian Finneran, Ben Hartsock, Justin Peele, Eric Weems.

Hartsock and Peele give Atlanta flexibility with their two-tight-end formations as both got significant playing time in 2008.  Harry Douglas is a great slot receiver as well as dynamic in the punt return game.  Brian Finneran found his role in 2008 as a possession guy that can make the tough 3rd down catches.