Calvin Ridley Says He Is Ready To Be The Man To Replace Julio Jones

Calvin Ridley's ready for top billing in the ATL. After spending his first three seasons burning defensive backs as the Falcons' No. 2 receiver, Ridley enters 2021 as Atlanta's top pass catcher, and he's ready for the responsibility that comes along with it.

“I think I’m ready for that role, more than ready for that role,” Ridley said, per the Associated Press.

Ridley gets the bump to wideout No. 1 since the Falcons' previous top target, Julio Jones, was traded to Tennessee earlier this offseason. Fortunately for Atlanta, Ridley's already been performing like one of the game's top receivers. With Jones banged up throughout much of last season, Ridley stepped up in a big way -- producing 90 catches, 9 touchdowns and more than 1,300 receiving yards.

“I don’t want to say it’s different,” Ridley said of his role as the go-to receiver. “I had some games without (Julio) Jones. ... I just can’t wait to make plays and do what I have to do for my teammates.”

Since he entered the league as a first-round pick in 2018, Ridley has scored at least seven touchdowns and caught more than 60 balls each fall. Matt Ryan, who's been his quarterback for all but one pro game, is confident that Ridley will succeed as Atlanta's top dog.

“I think he’s entering a spot in his career where he’s definitely more comfortable,” Ryan said. “He’s got the right mindset, right attitude, and he’s going to be a good leader for us, he really will. And I’m excited about that.”