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Calvin Ridley joins forces with Julio Jones on Falcons

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The Atlanta Falcons have found a brand-new weapon for quarterback Matt Ryan.

The team on Thursday nabbed Alabama wideout Calvin Ridley with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The explosive Ridley becomes the second wideout off the board after the Panthers grabbed D.J. Moore three picks earlier.

"He's an excellent route runner," wrote NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah. "He accelerates into the break point before snapping off and generating separation. He has strong hands to pluck low balls and tracks the deep ball naturally. Ridley is not a physical, 50-50-ball type of player -- his game is more about speed and quickness than strength and power."

Ridley will learn from the best in Atlanta, where Julio Jones remains the team's clear-cut, dominant force through the air. The Falcons also boast Mohamed Sanu ahead of Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall, Nick Williams and Reggie Davis.

"He steps in Day One and takes some pressure off of Julio Jones," said NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock.

"Ultra quick, fluid, explosive route runner," one scout told Bob McGinn of BobMcGinnFootball.com. "Can run the whole [route] tree. Has vertical speed and excellent hands. Polished player. Average size and strength."

Said another scout: "He's not dynamic, but he knows how to get open and get deep. Very competitive player."

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