Falcons head coach Dan Quinn signals to an official during the second quarter against the New York Giants Oct. 22, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

5 things to know as Falcons kickoff their offseason 

Here are five things to know as the Falcons’ offseason is heating up during the offensive coordinator watch period: 

1. Senior Bowl rosters are set: The Falcons first big scouting trip will be the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

The college all-star game will be played on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The Raiders and the 49ers, with Jon Gruden and Kyle Shanahan, will coach the game.

Georgia defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter (not related), long snapper Nick Moore and linebacker D’Andre Walker have accepted invitations to play in the game. 

2. Jones out of Pro Bowl: Tampa Bay wide receiver Michael Evans will replace Jones in the All-Star game, the Buccaneers announced.

Jones played in all 16 games this season, but was on the injury report for a hip and ribs injuries for the final three games of the season.

Here’s what Jones had to say after the regular-season finale. 

Jones, who was voted to the AP All-Pro second team last week, had 113 catches for 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018. Jones made first-team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016. 

Evans caught 86 passes for 1,524 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Center Alex Mack was also selected to the Pro Bowl. 

Quarterback Matt Ryan, tight end Austin Hooper and special teamer Justin Bethel are Pro Bowl alternates.

3. Compensatory pick projection: The Falcons, who are slotted into the 14th position of the NFL draft, are projected to picked up a fourth- and fifth-round compensatory picks to go along with the seven picks they already have. 

The Falcons will get a fourth-round pick for losing Dontari Poe in free agency and a fifth-round pick for losing wide receiver Taylor Gabriel,  according to Nick Korte of OverTheCap.com. 

The NFL has not released the list of picks, but Korte’s projections have been accurate in the past with the complicated awarding formula. 

“There will be some really good football players in the middle of the round each round,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said on Thursday. “That's our thought.” 

The draft will be held April 25, in Nashville. 

4. Ridley vs. Harrison: Falcons rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley is coming off a strong first season. 

His stature and build reminded me of Marvin Harrison all season long. Ridley is listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. Harrison was 6-foot and 181 pounds.

Their rookie stats are eerily the same.

Harrison’s rookie season: 118 targets, 64 catches, 836 receiving yards, 13.1 yards per catch and eight touchdowns.

Ridley’s rookie season: 92 targets, 64 catches, 821 catches, 821 receiving yards, 12.8 yards per catch and a team-record 10 touchdowns for a rookie.  

5. Alford’s situation:  Cornerback Isaiah Oliver subbed for Robert Alford on occasions late in the season to suggest that team officials are considering moving on from Alford, who next season is scheduled for a salary of $8.5 million with a $9.1 million salary-cap charge if on the team vs. a cap hit of $1.2 million if he’s not. The hit would be $600,000 if he were released June 1 or later, and then $600,000 in 2020.


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