FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – From the sound of it, the Atlanta Falcons have just one question remaining regarding the team’s wide receiver depth chart, not two as earlier expected.
After Monday’s padded practice session, head coach Mike Smith spoke about the position battle between Drew Davis and Kevin Cone.
“The tough thing down the line of receivers is we’ve got four guys that have got experience,” said Smith. “Kevin Cone and Drew are probably competing with these young guys that joined us in April.”
Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas have their names etched in stone on the depth chart, and that’s been the case for some time. Kerry Meier is that fourth receiver that Smith seems to allude is a foregone conclusion to make the team.
Meier has turned heads in camp thus far, catching passes over the middle with ease and with regularity, sometimes in heavy traffic. This is same thing Meier was doing in camp his rookie season before a knee injury shut his season down in 2010.
Meier was a non-factor last season, healthy enough to participate on offense and on special teams, but not truly healthy enough to put up numbers.
“Kerry has done a really good job,” said quarterback Matt Ryan. “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.”
With four slots on the depth chart locked up, that leaves Cone and Davis to fight over the fifth, and likely final spot, on the roster.
It was Davis’ time to shine Monday as he repeatedly caught passes in team drills, both one-on-one and 11-on-11.
“Drew Davis is developing very well,” said Smith. “He was on our practice squad last year, and he’s got height, speed, and catches the ball extremely well. He’s a guy that’s very young in his football development. He has a basketball background as well. He’s a good young prospect for us.”
Cone caught some balls in traffic too, but established his place in the pecking order Friday in practice when he shined in drills, looking like the best receiver on the team not named Jones.
The Cone-Davis battle won’t be decided for some time and it’s not written in permanent ink that some other receiver—there are 11 on the roster currently—won’t step up and join the fight. The victor will be the receiver who continues to shine in practice catching passes, and the one who lights up Keith Armstrong’s eyes on special teams.