Head coach Bruce Arians of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Every NFL coach, most likely, tuned in to Monday night’s game featuring the College Football National Championship between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide.
What looked like a close battle in the first half turned into a blowout 52-24 win for Alabama. 2020 Heisman winner, wideout Devonta Smith, was the star of the show with 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians was watching and joined the Dan Patrick Show earlier this week where he compared Smith to two Atlanta Falcons stars.
“He’s kind of a mix of Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones.” – Bucs coach Bruce Arians on seeing Devonta Smith.
“He’s kind of a mix of Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones.” – Bucs coach Bruce Arians on seeing Devonta Smith last night (@dpshow)
— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) January 12, 2021
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Calvin Ridley Earns First All-Pro
Calvin Ridley, 26, had a breakout season this year which earned him a spot on the second-team All-Pro by The Associated Press for his performance.
The third-year wideout led Atlanta with 90 receptions for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. He finished the 2020 season tied with the Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams. Adams was named first-team All-Pro, for the fifth-most receiving yards in the league and finished 10th in touchdown catches.
Ridley led the league with eight 100-yard receiving games in 2020, ranking third in franchise history behind Julio Jones, who had 10 100-yard games in 2018 and nine in 2015.
Ridley Stepped Up for Falcons Veteran Star Julio Jones This Season
Ridley was expected to step up for Atlanta this season with Jones, 31, sidelined due to a hamstring injury.
In nine games, Jones finished the 2020 season with 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns.
Looking back in 2019, however, Jones proved he was still in his prime and took over Jerry Rice’s record in receiving yards having 12,000 in less than 17 games. He finished 2019 reeling in 99 catches for 1,394 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
Will Falcons Draft Smith In April?
The Falcons could use a backfield star after quickly realizing Todd Gurley is washed up and won’t be much help for long.
Come April, the Falcons have the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, and while drafting a running back first in the top five is frowned upon, anything is possible.
But, with Matt Ryan possibly on his last year with the Falcons and this year’s draft class stacked with talented signal-callers, the Falcons will likely go with a quarterback for their first-round pick, leaving Smith on the board.
So, where will Smith land?
Several reports suggest Smith heading to the Miami Dolphins, who already have a young, talented QB to work with.
The Dolphins have the No. 3 overall pick this year and last year, Miami took Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5.
No need to draft another QB, but they could use plenty of depth on their wideout chart and Smith would be reunited with Tua, so the bond would come naturally for them.
The Dolphins have so have some nice options at wideout between DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant, and when healthy, Preston Williams. But where they lack is a player like Smith would open up the offense to balance it out.
As for the Falcons? They need to go with Bama’s QB Mac Jones.
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