So far in his career, the 5th-year wide receiver Harry Douglas can be labeled as a “Teaser”, but in 2013, look for the 6-foot wide out to become a threat in the Atlanta Falcons‘ aggressive passing scheme.
When people think of the 2008 NFL Draft for the Falcons, most people would that they had one of the best draft classes a franchise could have. They found their franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, one of the best offensive tackles in Sam Baker, a productive linebacker in Curtis Lofton and one of the most athletic safeties in Thomas DeCoud. Three out of four are still with the team, and two went on to become Pro Bowlers.
Although these players have deserved recognition, many people tend to forget the agile and athletic receiver in Douglas, who was also a part of the legendary 2008 NFL Draft Class for the Falcons. Douglas may not deserve to be in the same boat as the players mentioned above in terms of production and impact, but he has been a sleeper and is ready to become a threat for an offense that is already dynamic.
In his first four years in the league, Douglas has been a solid slot receiver who possesses the ability to make people miss in the open field with his natural athleticism that consists of quickness, agility and evasiveness.
In his rookie year, Douglas had 23 receptions for 320 yards and one touchdown. Although these may appear mediocre, Douglas also caught a 69-yard pass and averaged 13.9 yards a catch. After sitting out in 2009 due to a season-ending injury, Douglas struggled in 2010 and was unable to continue progressing.
During the past two years, however, Douglas bounced back with 498 yards and one touchdown in 2011, and had 395 yards and one touchdown in 2012. Also, he was able to stay healthy and appears to be ready to reach his full potential in 2013 and become the Falcons’ version of Wes Welker.
With the Falcons already possessing some of the most dominant and athletic wide receivers in Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, Douglas will add even more firepower and take the Falcons’ passing game to another gear.
As defense coordinators will try to limit the Falcons’ three-headed monster receiving crew, along with keeping tailback Steven Jackson in check, Douglas will have all the room in the world in his slot position to have one-on-one match-ups with a linebacker covering him over the middle of the field.
Douglas may not have lived up to his billing as being one of the more dynamic slot receivers in his first four years, but in 2013 he will be a threat that every defense coordinator will just have to live with. Defenses will gamble and will allow Ryan throw to Douglas, which will give him the chance to showcase his skill.
With the slot position becoming a bigger part in most offenses as it is the inside track to the middle of the field, Douglas has the ability to swoop in and dive into the heart of the defense that will open up the big guns on the outside.
It’s not about how many hits you can take, but how far you are willing to go to be successful. I believe Douglas is ready to be the player the Falcons need him to be in order to achieve their goals in 2013, and he will be the surprise threat that the defense never saw coming.