While many people expect Matt Ryan’s No. 2 option, Calvin Ridley, to reach his first 1,000-yard season, Ryan’s No. 1 option and the NFL’s top receiver, Julio Jones, thinks Ridley will go far beyond 1,000.
Jones weighed in on his teammate’s third year in the league.
“I think, for Calvin, he’s going to exceed [1,000 yards],” Jones said during a local media conference. “He can do whatever he wants to do, he’s that type of talent. He has that type of energy, his work ethic, everything is there. It’s just timing. You’re getting your opportunities, you’re making the best of them throughout the game and the course of the season.”
Ridley’s Breakout Season
Ridley was showcasing an impressive season before he was placed on the injured reserve list near the end of the season. Last season 63 catches for 866 yards and seven touchdowns over 13 games and 10 starts in his second year in the league.
Now that he’s back an 100% healthy, Ridley is projected across the boards to have the biggest breakout season in the league.
Analysts have even gone as far as to say that Ridley will even outscore DeAndre Hopkins. The 25-year-old has what it takes to make a big leap this year after earning Matt Ryan’s trust in the last two seasons.
The odds are also in his favor considering Austin Hooper and Mohamed Sanu out of the picture and Jones will command double teams per usual, leaving Ridley the next target.
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Ridley Is Ready to Show He’s Elite
Ridley thought he would reach 1,000 yards last season before he got injured in the 13th game.
“Last year, I was right there,” Ridley said last week. “I got hurt three games out. I was going to get 1,000 yards last year. I got hurt and I’m in the hospital that same day, my agent came. I said, ‘Man, I would have got 1,000, but I’m out for the year and I don’t have that 1,000.’ Now, I have to get it.”
For the first time, Ridley has come out of his shell and shown the media the fire inside of him.
“I’ve always had confidence,” Ridley said. “I just think that football has really slowed down for me a lot in the NFL. I ain’t going to lie, I’m real hungry to show people that I’m easily a 1,000-yard receiver. Easily and even better.”
Ridley & Jones Could Be Another Chris Godwin & Mike Evans
Tampa Bay wideout Chris Godwin had a breakout year three in 2019, despite being the No. 2 option to his teammate Mike Evans.
Godwin was close to breaking 1,000 yards in his second season catching 59 passes for 842 yards and seven touchdowns but didn’t hit the thousand mark until his third season. The 24-year-old ended up recording an impressive 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.
Both Evans and Godwin ended the season with Pro Bowl invites. Ridley is on his way to do the same with Jones if he can stay consistent and Matt Ryan lets him get some pass action.