May 15th, 2013
Matt Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and the biggest reason for this is his great receivers. Here are his top 5 targets:
Roddy White: Roddy White has been with Matt Ryan since Ryan was a rookie in 2008, and in each of the past 5 seasons, White has caught for at least 1,100 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. In five years with Ryan, White has exactly 6,571 yards and 43 touchdowns.
Julio Jones: The Falcons gave up a lot to get Julio Jones, but the investment paid off immediately. Jones has had 2,157 yards and 18 touchdowns in just two seasons. He also averages 16 yards per catch, and is a playmaker in the playoffs. His 182-yard, 2 touchdown performance in the NFC Championship game allowed the Falcons to gain a large lead in the first half. Jones is only entering his 3rd season, and is still going to improve.
Tony Gonzalez: This sure-fire Hall of Fame tight end has caught over 70 passes every season with Matt Ryan, and is Ryan's favorite red-zone target. Gonzalez has caught 27 touchdowns in 4 seasons with the Falcons, and always seems to defy his age. The 16-year NFL veteran decided to come back this year, and he has the chance to get his first Super Bowl ring.
Harry Douglas: Harry Douglas is not a superstar wide receiver; nevertheless, he has an important role in the Atlanta offense. Douglas has had a total of 1,500 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns, and a 69-yard catch in his four year career. When Matt Ryan needs a receiver to make a big catch, he is never let down by Douglas.
Steven Jackson: After Michael Turner was cut this year by the Falcons, Atlanta went all-out to get Steven Jackson, a great running back with exceptional catching skills. Jackson can catch out of the backfield, and could be a great target on goal line plays and short yardage passes. Jackson has caught over 400 passes, has over 3,300 career receiving yards, and has had 8 receiving touchdowns in his career. Steven Jackson will also be a playmaker in the Atlanta passing attack.
Honorable Mentions for best receivers: Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans