The Falcons have made a lot of improvements, but there are still areas where they can get better — especially on defense. If you want to read about some offensive free agent targets, that’s linked below:
One of the more pleasant surprises for the Falcons last year, Anderson is the type of rotational guy you want to keep around on a cheap deal. The former undrafted free agent journeyman may have found a home in Atlanta.
2022 Stats: 40 Total Tackles, 2 Tackles for Loss, 1 Sack
Chris Wormley is a really solid option for Atlanta in terms of youth, price, and availability. Wormley is a stout run defender that should help cure a lot of Atlanta’s woes up the middle, and if you pair him with someone who can get after the quarterback, you should see a lot more success up front.
2022 Stats: 29 Total Tackles, 3 Tackles for Loss, 0.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
EDGE Yannick Ngakoue
Ngakoue is an interesting player for the Falcons. He’s had some very high highs and some very low lows. He’s probably going to be pretty expensive, and he could be worth it, or the Falcons could end up with another Dante Fowler Jr. contract.
2022 Stats: 29 Total Tackles, 8 Tackles for Loss, 9.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
Clowney may be a little bit lower than you would expect, but his potential price tag and comments toward the end of his time in Cleveland contribute to that. Regardless, he can play, and he would really help a poor Falcons run defense. If the Falcons want a guy who can set the edge and are willing to fork over a big one-year deal, Clowney makes sense… again.
2022 Stats: 28 Total Tackles, 4 Tackles for Loss, 2 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
EDGE Justin Houston
Is this the year Justin Houston FINALLY comes back to Georgia? The Statesboro native and Georgia Bulldog is still a menacing force at 34 years old, and he would be a fantastic guy to bring in to mentor this young Atlanta pass rush and collect a few sacks of his own. I’ll keep asking until he retires.
2022 Stats: 21 Total Tackles, 7 Tackles for Loss, 9.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Interception
EDGE Leonard Floyd
The former Georgia Bulldog was really impressive with the Rams, but you have to be careful with the Aaron Donald effect. We saw it with Dante Fowler coming to Atlanta, but it’s no secret Aaron Donald draws a lot of attention. I’d still love to have Floyd on a one or two year deal.
2022 Stats: 31 Tackles, 10 Tackles for Loss, 9 Sacks, 1 Fumble Recovery
Perryman really established himself in Vegas after a few up-and-down seasons and looks primed for a solid payday. He is a fantastic run defender and even snagged a few interceptions in 2022.
2022 Stats: 83 Total Tackles, 14 Tackles for Loss, 2 Interceptions, 1 Sack
LB Anthony Walker Jr.
Another guy limited by injuries, Walker is still one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL when he’s healthy. His health is a big question mark; he’s been limited to nine games over the past two seasons after missing only six games over his first four seasons.
2022 Stats: 13 Total Tackles, 4 Tackles for Loss
Littleton was a really solid all-around player for the Panthers, and he’s the type of veteran you can bring in to stabilize a shaky group. He doesn’t do anything exceptionally, but he’s very well-rounded.
2022 Stats: 47 Total Tackles, 1 Tackle for Loss, 0.5 Sack
LB Devin Bush
The former first-round pick has had an up-and-down career, but he still has a ton of upside as a true leader in the middle of a defense. He’s only 24, but his role with the Steelers was limited in 2022. I still like him as a buy-low guy.
2022 Stats: 81 Total Tackles, 2 Tackles for Loss
I had the Falcons scooping up Williams on a cheap deal in my offseason overhaul series, so I’ll talk about him again. The Falcons need some bodies in the secondary, and Williams has been shuffled out in Cleveland. Still, he’s only 25 years old and has some upside as an outside corner. I like giving him a shot in Atlanta to see if he can make something happen on a prove-it deal. Williams snagged two interceptions and forced a fumble in 2021 before being replaced by Greg Newsome II and Martin Emerson.
2022 Stats: 11 Tackles
CB Troy Hill
One of the better slot/outside corners in the league, Hill can do it all, and is a staunch run defender. He fits the mold of the versatile defensive back the Falcons are looking for.
2022 Stats: 67 Total Tackles, 1 Tackle for Loss, 4 Passes Defended, 1 Interception
CB Sean Murphy-Bunting
Murphy-Bunting could end up being something you see at a Braves game or across from AJ Terrell as a true CB2. Paired with his teammate Jamel Dean, who we will get to, he was part of a very imposing Tampa Bay secondary.
2022 Stats: 31 Total Tackles, 1 Tackle for Loss, 7 Passes Defended, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Interception
S Kareem Jackson
Jackson would be a welcome addition to this Falcons defense. Although he’s older, he’s still playing at a high level and can provide a lot of veteran leadership. He logged the most snaps of any safety in this free agent class, so he should be a pretty dependable option. I love his value.
2022 Stats: 94 Total Tackles, 2 Tackles for Loss, 3 Passes Defended, 2 Fumble Recoveries
S Taylor Rapp
I actually had Rapp as a trade target when Arthur Smith first started, but now he’s hitting the open market at 25 years old. He offers the Falcons the perfect combination of youth, talent, and upside. He was one of the best safeties against the run in the NFL, and he held his own in coverage.
2022 Stats: 92 Total Tackles, 2 Tackles for Loss, 6 Passes Defended, 2 Interceptions
S Julian Love
Another potential Oliver replacement, Love played all over Wink Martindale’s defense in New York. He’s a very versatile and well-rounded player; he doesn’t excel in many areas, but he’s rock solid.
2022 Stats: 124 Total Tackles, 6 Tackles for Loss, 5 Passes Defended, 1 Forced Fumble, 2 Interceptions, 1 Sack
Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire