The Falcons have made trades in both of the new regime’s drafts. Terry Fontenot traded back in the second round, selecting Richie Grant in the 2021 cycle, then traded up in the 2022 second round to land Arnold Ebiektie. Given the Saints’ track record of moving around in the draft and Fontenot’s resume with the Falcons, history tells us the club will once again make a move in about a week.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN suggested a draft day trade that I think many Falcons would be thrilled with, landing Corey Davis while swapping first-rounders and a pair of Day 2 picks with the Jets.
Falcons get: 1-13, 2-43, WR Corey Davis
Jets get: 1-8, 3-75
This should be the first call for teams interested in left tackle prospects Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State) and Peter Skoronski (Northwestern). The Falcons are set at tackle with Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary, but the Bears (No. 9), Titans (11), Jets (13), Patriots (14) and even Packers (15) could be looking to find their tackle of the future in this range. Mekhi Becton was seen as that player for the Jets and could end up there after Duane Brown‘s contract expires, but the 2020 first-rounder has played just one game in two seasons.
With this trade, the Jets would jump five spots for Johnson. The Falcons would drop down five spots but move up 42 spots in the other part of the deal, getting them in position to add more starting-caliber talent to a defense that has holes at multiple positions. They would also add an intriguing wide receiver in Davis, who had his breakout 2020 season under Falcons coach Arthur Smith when the two were together in Tennessee. Davis would have to take a pay cut to $6 million and the Jets would eat $4 million of that amount to facilitate his trade to Atlanta, where Davis would compete with Mack Hollins for the starting role next to Drake London.
New York would still hold on to the 44th pick, which it could use for an unnamed veteran quarterback.
I still think the Falcons could potentially acquire Corey Davis in free agency because the Jets have more to gain from cutting him. Davis hasn’t lived up to his lofty draft status as the #5 overall selection and the top receiver off the board, but he’s still a productive player.
Moreover, his best season came in 2020 with the Titans, when Arthur Smith was the offensive coordinator in Tennessee. Davis hauled in 65 passes for nearly 1,000 yards and five scores that year.
Davis parlayed that into a three-year contract with the Jets worth $37.5 million but hasn’t produced quite as the team had hoped. New York can save over $10 million against the cap if they cut him, and it’s been confirmed by The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt the Jets “are operating under the assumption that Corey Davis will be a cap casualty.” He fits Atlanta’s system, and the Falcons need a more talented option opposite Drake London than Mack Hollins and Scotty Miller.
The Jets still haven’t moved off Davis, however. Maybe it’s because New York is holding him for trade compensation in hopes of still prying Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay. I would wager Davis doesn’t play for the Jets in 2022; it makes no sense for them. It’s all gravy for the Falcons, though.
Barnwell has Atlanta moving back a few spots in the first round while swapping a second-round pick for a third-rounder as New York assumes $4 million of his salary. $6 million for Corey Davis, a 1,000+ yard receiver, is a nice deal, especially if the Falcons can work out a subsequent contract extension to keep him in town for a few more seasons.
Photographer: Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire
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