Falcons star Julio Jones was praising fellow wide receiver Aldrick Robinson even before Robinson went out and starred for the Falcons in the exhibition opener against Washington on Thursday.
That performance by Robinson, who rates as no better than the No. 4 receiver, is an indication of the potential depth the Falcons have at wide receiver.
“He had a great game for us,” Jones said. “But there is more to come from Al. Also, a lot of the young guys. J.D. (McKissic), great guy, you will see a lot of him. Of course, Mohamed Sanu (and) myself. Just a lot of guys. We are out here, we are working and doing a good job.”
Robinson had three catches for 118 yards against Washington, including receptions of 68 and 47 yards from quarterback Matt Schaub. Robinson played 30 games for Washington from 2011 to 2014 before getting cut by the Ravens prior to last season.
With Jones, Sanu and Justin Hardy set as the top three wide receivers, Robinson is in competition with four others for what likely are two more spots: McKissic, Nick Williams, Eric Weems, and Devin Fuller.
“It’s a deep group, that’s what we’ve learned No. 1,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “The special-teams factor is a legit factor between Williams and Robinson and Hardy, McKissic. They are ones that have understood, hey, not only are they going for it at receiver, they understand that the special teams are going to be a big part of this as well.”
Williams and Weems both are holdovers from last season. Weems was the primary punt returner last season after Devin Hester went out with injuries. Weems also handled kickoffs.
McKissic returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown against Washington. Hardy has been the No. 1 punt return man during training camp this year. Fuller, a seventh-round draft pick from UCLA, is being tried on kickoff returns.
The Falcons are re-configuring their wide receiver corps after they released all-time franchise great Roddy White during the off season.
“I like the competitiveness of the group,” Quinn said. “It certainly helps when the leader of that group (Jones) has a standard of how he works. When you see him busting it like that, it’s pretty hard not to follow suit. We are very fortunate that he has a real standard about how he conducts himself.”
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