The Carolina Panthers are headed for a full-scale rebuild. They’re likely to select Bryce Young or CJ Stroud at the top of the draft with their current trajectory. Even though interdivisional trades are rare, they aren’t impossible. Vegas thinks the Falcons have a chance to snag Christian McCaffrey:
Where will Christian McCaffrey be traded? (odds via @betonline_ag):
— Jaime Eisner (@JaimeEisner) October 18, 2022
However, this article isn’t about McCaffrey. The Falcons don’t need to spend big assets on a running back, and the Panthers have made it clear they want a king’s ransom for McCaffrey. This is about two different defenders — Brian Burns and Derrick Brown. There’s a case to be made for both:
Burns has been one of the better young pass rushers in the NFL. He was selected two picks after the Falcons took Chris Lindstrom in the 2019 NFL Draft. Burns has four sacks in 2022, following up back-to-back nine sack seasons in 2020 and 2021. The Falcons have a nice promising young bunch of edge rushers, but they don’t have that top dawg in the group. I’ve maintained that Atlanta having multiple guys is just as important as getting “the guy”, but trading for Burns can get them both in one swing. Burns is also a solid run defender, and if he wasn’t playing for a division rival, I think this would be something the fanbase would be talking about more.
Derrick Brown has finally blossomed into one of the better interior defenders in the NFL after being selected 7th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Falcons need a guy to eat up space next to Grady Jarrett, who has been fantastic this season. Standing at 6’5 and 320 pounds, Brown is an imposing force. He has generated a ton of pressure up the middle and is a great run stuffer. The Falcons badly need that presence on their interior.
If I had it my way, I would look to swing a trade for both guys. The Falcons have the money to extend both of them, and they arguably address Atlanta’s two biggest defensive sore spots with good, young players. The only hurdle is the divisional component. Carolina would want a lot more to send both of these guys in the division, but if I’m the Falcons, I have to at least have the conversation
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