FLOWERY BRANCH – Behind wide receivers Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas, there is a lot of competition.
Last season Eric Weems was the fourth wide receiver and Kerry Meier was the fifth. Meier will try to slide up into the fourth slot, leaving one and potentially two roster spots open.
“Kerry has done a really good job,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “Last year, coming off a knee injury, he came back in and did a good job. He played in some spot roles for us. But I think this year his confidence is back in his leg. I’ve been really impressed with him through the spring and through the start of training camp.”
Wide receivers Kevin Cone and Drew Davis, who were on the practice squad last season, have been playing well early in training camp, too. Cone was added to the roster as the sixth wide receiver late last season.
Davis caught a nice pass from Chris Redman on a slant route Thursday when the second-team offense was trying to move down the field into field goal position.
Cone effortlessly soared to snag a high screen pass from Dominique Davis. He made a nice move to get up field.
Cone and Davis also drew some praise from Ryan.
“It’s always fun to watch them,” Ryan said. “They improve so much day to day. They’ve got such a great approach to it. These guys are tireless workers. They are out here and catching balls all day. They are running and doing all kinds of stuff on special teams. I think both of those guys have a real opportunity to make our team and contribute in special teams and in that fifth receiver role.”
Falcons coach Mike Smith was asked about Davis.
“Drew Davis is developing very well,” Smith said. “He was on the practice squad last year. He’s got height, speed, catches the ball extremely well. He’s a guy that’s very young in his football development. He’s got a basketball background as well.
“He’s a good young prospect for us. The tough thing for us, down the line, is with our wide receivers, as you know, we’ve got four guys that have got experience. We’ve got Kevin Cone and Drew competing with these young guys that just joined us in April.”
The rest of the wide receivers group includes Michael Calvin, Kenny Stafford, Marcus Jackson, James Rodgers and Tim Toone.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog