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Marcus Mariota: Big Falcons wide receivers make QBs look good

Chris Simms' 2022 Top 40 QB Countdown stops in Atlanta, where Marcus Mariota gets another chance as a starter in the NFL -- but has some things to clean up if he wants to fend off Desmond Ridder.

The Falcons aren’t looking for Marcus Mariota to be Matt Ryan, but they would like him to be a productive passer during the 2022 season.

There were points this offseason when outside observers wondered if the team’s receiving corps would allow that to happen. Calvin Ridley is suspended for the year and Russell Gage left as a free agent, which left the team very thin on wide receivers

Drafting Drake London in the first round, signing Auden Tate, and trading for Bryan Edwards helped put some more meat on the bone. The moves also leave the Falcons with a much bigger group. All three wideouts are at least 6-foot-3 and they join 6-foot-6 tight end Kyle Pitts to make a group that Mariota believes will serve him well this year.

“With those guys in there, they make you look good,” Mariota said, via the team’s website. “You don’t always have to be perfect with your throws. Being able to have these guys whether it be their catch radius, whether it’s their ability to get in and out of cuts, the receivers have really made all of us quarterbacks look good this offseason.”

Expectations for the Falcons aren’t terribly high at this point in the calendar, but the bar could rise if those big receiving targets prove to be a good match for Mariota’s return to the ranks of NFL starting quarterbacks.