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The Atlanta Falcons will look to make it out of their regular season dress rehearsal healthy.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We’re only an hour away from kickoff for the third preseason game, which will pit the Falconsagainst the Arizona Cardinals. The starters should get plenty of run, there will be a glimpse of Julio Jones, and the defense will finally be tested by a living, breathing starting quarterback. For one half, at least, it should be a fun game.

If you’ll be watching it along with us, be sure to check out the key info below, and then check out our Twitter tracker. Let’s hope for a healthy, productive Falcons team when all is said and done, as we do for every preseason game.

Falcons vs. Cardinals 2017 preseason info

Time: Saturday, August 26, 7 p.m. EST

Channel: CW69

Announcers: Justin Kutcher/Coy Wire

Radio: 92.9 The Game

Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

OddsThe Falcons are 4 point favorites

Prediction: Falcons win, 31-20

Opposition: Revenge of the Birds

Twitter: @TheFalcoholic


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Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

Give or take a quarterback convert, the 2016 NFL draft saw 32 wide receivers selected.

Malcolm Mitchell checked in as the 11th.

The Georgia product’s rookie campaign with the New England Patriots would go on to rank higher than his No. 112 overall positioning, though. By the time the 16-game regular season had drawn to a close, Mitchell’s production had exceeded a handful of the receivers taken before him, and even managed to rival the first one off the board.

The soon-to-be 24-year-old will look follow it up on a Patriots depth chart that now features Brandin Cooks alongside Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola in 2017. But, with the help of Pro Football Reference, it’s worth taking one last look back at how Mitchell stacked up among his fellow draftmates out wide in 2016.

Through games, starts, targets, catches, yards and touchdowns – the answer is quite well.


  • 14 – tied for third-most among drafted receivers

A dislocated elbow did not keep Mitchell away for long. Out of preseason action, he entered into 14 games, missing an Oct. 30 matchup with the Buffalo Bills and a New Year’s Day tilt with the Miami Dolphins due to hamstring and knee injuries, respectively. And he finished the slate as one of the 16 drafted wideouts that appeared in at least 14 regular-season contests.

On the other hand, nearly half of the receivers drafted played in 10 games or fewer, including four who were picked before Mitchell in first-rounders Corey Coleman, Josh Doctson and Laquon Treadwell, as well as third-rounder Braxton Miller.


  • Six – tied for fifth-most among drafted receivers

Though starts at the split-end, slot and flanker receiver spots vary greatly based on a team’s use of two-back or two-tight end personnel, Mitchell got the nod six times last regular season. The eventual Super Bowl LI champion was one of seven drafted wideouts to start at least six contests.

Six may not seem like much on the surface. However, the only route-runner drafted after Mitchell that proceeded start more games was Tajae Sharpe – a fifth-round choice of the Tennessee Titans – who netted 10.


  • 48 – eighth-most among drafted receivers

Mitchell was the intended recipient of 48 throws from Patriots signal-callers Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Tom Brady last season. As for how much weight that held, seven drafted wideouts drew more targets as rookies in 2016, with Coleman’s 73 for the Cleveland Browns looming as the next-closest.

But Coleman and Mitchell – taken 97 spots from each other in May – reached the conclusion of the year just one completion apart.

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After the draft, former Georgia Tech linebacker P.J. Davis had an opportunity Saturday to go to the Falcons’ rookie minicamp. But he went with what appears a better opportunity with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Falcons did not offer Davis a contract as an undrafted free agent after he was not selected in this weekend’s NFL draft. Rather, they wanted him to come to their rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, Davis said, meaning that he would have to impress the team’s decision makers enough to actually earn a spot on the roster.

Also, the Falcons wanted him to work out as a fullback, a position that the team’s contingent, including coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, had him try at Tech’s pro day in March.

The Jaguars, meawhile, were among teams offering him a contract as an undrafted free agent as a linebacker.

Davis said he appreciated the Falcons’ offer, “but a free-agent deal is better than an invite to minicamp.” Further, he said, he wanted to play linebacker, where he led the Yellow Jackets in tackles for two of the past three years.

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It didn’t take long after the recruiting dead period ended Wednesday for new head coach Tyson Summers and his staff to receive some fresh commitments.

What had been a quiet week on the recruiting scene exploded when the Eagles nabbed one of the biggest talents in their 2016 class to date.

Colquitt County athlete Ty Lee, remedy a consensus three-star prospect from Moultrie, announced his commitment Thursday to Georgia Southern on Twitter.

That now marks seven players ranked three stars by at least one of the major recruiting services who have committed to the Eagles.

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The city the Georgia Bulldogs are lucky enough to call home has been named the #1 College Football Town in America, cost according to a poll by Athlon Sports.

After assembling a panel of ten sports personalities and experts, thumb which included a CBS college football analyst, SiriusXM on-air talent, and writers for organizations like Fox Sports, Yahoo!, and the Associated Press, Athens, Georgia appeared on nine of the ten ballots, receiving three first place votes for a total of 62/100 points to edge out the cities of Madison, Wisconsin and Austin, Texas.

“It has it all,” said Pat Forde, a member of the panel who works as a national college columnist for Yahoo! Sports. “A great downtown area with a lot of great restaurants and bars, a pretty campus and my favorite football stadium.”

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