After reflecting on the epic meltdown that took place during the 2017 Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons are ready to focus on the new season and another chance to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. While they’ll have to compete on the field against a tough NFC South featuring the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there’s also some off-field competition to solve among the Dirty Birds: Which Falcons player is the most followed on social media?
Cultivating an identity across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be a second job for many players, especially as they work with brands and companies to promote products and services. Which Falcons player would even have the influence to do that? Does quarterback Matt Ryan have the most social media followers? Or is there a defender commanding eyeballs with his digital presence? Continue reading to see the Falcons player who has truly figured out social media.
The 1.9 million Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter followers for wide receiver Julio Jones have landed him in the top spot. The six-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowler has led the league in average receiving yards per game the past two seasons – 116 yards per game during the 2015-16 season and 100 yards per game in the 2016-17 season. In addition to sharing some of his favorite music of the moment via Instagram, Jones also shares his summer vacation pictures, which involve feeding pigs carrots on a beach.
Even though he’s the quarterback and usually the most important player on the field, Matt Ryan can’t compete with Jones’ following. In fact, he had fewer total followers than the number of followers Jones had on Instagram alone as of September 2017. Ryan is a brand ambassador for Banana Republic and commands a large audience of over 776,000 users across all of his social media channels.He’ll face the tough assignment this year, his 10th season of helping to bring the Falcons back into the playoffs and maintaining his regular season MVP stats.
With a little over half the following of Matt Ryan, running back Devonta Freeman placed third among his Falcons teammates for the largest social media following. With a combined presence just over 300,000 across all three networks, it’s almost all about Instagram for the former Florida State player – over 200,000 of his social media followers keep up with Freeman’s life via the picture- and video-sharing service. While there are pictures of Freeman wearing fancy clothes at red carpet events, he’s also posted plenty of Instagram pictures related to the work he does for young people via his Devonta Freeman Foundation.
As their follower counts continue to rise, it’s time for all Atlanta Falcons fans – not just Jones, Ryan, or Freeman followers – to rise up! Support your team by picking up the best officially licensed Falcons merchandise and apparel from Fanatics.com.
For this project, we scraped the social metrics from each player’s respective Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. All measures (including likes and followers) were collected and verified on Sept. 6, 2017.