WATCH: Russell Gage poised for bigger role in second season

Atlanta Falcons 2018 sixth-round pick Russell Gage will have a chance to make a much bigger impact in his second year.

Russell Gage is far from a household name even in Atlanta. But he should receive the chance to leave his mark during the 2019 season.

The Atlanta Falcons selected Gage in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He mostly played special teams this past season, but he did have six catches for 63 yards, four of which came in the final three games. After not receiving more than 10 percent of the team's offensive snaps in any game prior to Week 15, Gage played in more than 15 percent of the Falcons' offensive snaps in each of the final three contests.

With Justin Hardy poised to leave in free agency, Gage should receive even more playing time in 2019.

Sure, the Falcons still have Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley. Tight end Austin Hooper receives plenty of targets as well, and Atlanta wants to bring more balanced to its offense next season, running the ball more. That doesn't leave too many other touches for Gage.

But he will be important to supplying depth at wide receiver. With Atlanta likely spending all of its free agent money this offseason on the offensive and defensive lines, they probably aren't going to address wideout. Gage should receive every opportunity to win the No. 4 receiver role in training camp.

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1ststatefalconfan
1ststatefalconfan

Will be great for Falcons if Gage takes another step forward in 2018. Lots of 6th round picks never see the field at all. Russell has already crossed that threshold by leaps and bounds!