One of those new faces is 27-year-old KhaDarel Hodge.
Hodge, after four seasons of bouncing around the league, has a chance to be a top wideout for Atlanta this season––and he’s extremely thankful to be in this position after working extra hard this offseason.
“I’m grateful… I’m grateful,” Hoge said following Falcons’ practice on Wednesday. “If anything, even making the 53, man it’s one percent or the one percent. So, I’m always grateful. I’m blessed. I thank God every day for it.”
Hodge signed with the team back in March
Prior to that, he had bounced around the league with stops at the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions. In four seasons thus far, Hodge has 30 receptions for 430 yards. He’s coming off a 2021 season that saw a career-high of 13 catches on 27 targets for 157 yards in Detroit.
He originally signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2018.
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The Falcons WR Room is Feeding Off of the Noise
The Falcons’ wide receive room doesn’t look threatening, according to critics.
But keep on talking, because this group, which features 2022 rookie Drake London,
Bryan Edwards, Olamide Zaccheaus, Damiere Byrd, and Jared Bernhardt is thriving off of it.
“We all got the same mindset in there,” Hodge said. “People are trying to write us off, so we all have that underdog mentality and we all are looking to prove ourselves this year. And we all got that dog in us. And it’s like, there’s nothing you can say. A dude, that’s gonna shut us down––we’re gonna keep going regardless.”
Falcons’ projected starting quarterback, Marcus Mariota, can also vouch for this wideout group that’s getting overlooked.
“It’s a great group,” Mariota said. “It was a competitive offseason for them and these guys, they all worked really, really hard. It says a lot about who they are. It’s not an easy thing to come in [and compete] when you have such a wide-open group like that. The expectation is to compete and when these guys stand out on top and they’re a part of the active roster, those guys delivered and showed what it takes to be our guys.”
He added, “I’m excited. It’s a young group and I think we have a good mix of guys that are willing to do what they need to do and I trust these guys wholeheartedly.”
Falcons Sign WR Frank Darby to Practice Squad
The Falcons announced their practice squad players on Wednesday which included bringing back 2021 sixth-round pick Frank Darby.
Hodge spoke for the entire team when he said he was happy to have Darby back.
“I think everyone in the WORLD would love to have a Frank Darby around them—not just on the football team but in life,” Hodge said.
The Falcons currently have 12 players signed to their 16-man practice squad:
TE MyCole Pruitt
S Teez Tabor
WR Cam Batson
WR Josh Ali
OLB Jordan Brailford
WR Frank Darby
CB Matt Hankins
RB Caleb Huntley
OL Ryan Neuzil
OL Justin Shaffer
DL Derrick Tangelo
OL Tyler Vrabel