The Falcons and the rest of the league are less than a week away from the draft. Given the proximity to the draft, free agency has died down like it always does. There will be minimal signings over the next week, but the Falcons still have holes on the roster. Terry Fontenot has done an excellent job rounding it out for the most part, which allows him to maintain flexibility in the draft, but the team could still use an upgrade or two across the depth chart.
Given the Falcons’ best player available draft strategy, there are no guarantees those holes are filled through the draft. Atlanta might have to dip into the post-draft free agent market to complete their roster. There are big questions surrounding how exactly the Falcons will afford their 2022 draft class. The team currently sits around $3.4 million over the cap and will need more than $12 million to sign their nine-man rookie class. However, trading or extending Grady Jarrett will give the Falcons plenty of room to work. Here are a few options still left on the free agent market:
Will Fuller, WR
Fuller signed with the Dolphins in 2021 after five underwhelming seasons in Houston that were plagued by injuries. He’s still a credible deep threat but just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Fuller hasn’t played more than 11 games since his rookie year. He has become a high-upside value at this point in his career on a short-term contract. It won’t take much to sign him, and he still possesses elite speed with a career average of 14.7 yards per catch.
Eddie Goldman, DT
Though he never developed into a consistent threat on third downs, Goldman has shown flashes as a pass rusher. The 28-year-old is an ideal run-stuffing, space-eating nose tackle. Goldman’s 325-pound frame demands double teams, which, in turn, would free up Grady Jarrett.
Ereck Flowers, OL
Flowers has been a solid guard for most of his career, despite being drafted as a tackle. He showed well in Washington and Miami; signing him would give the Falcons more security at the left guard position, which is still Jalen Mayfield‘s to lose.
Akiem Hicks, DT
Hicks could be the hundredth former Bears player the Falcons sign. He’s no longer the dominant force he used to be, but he’s still more than capable of contributing. It’s concerning a team hasn’t signed him yet, but Hicks should provide a big boost for whichever team signs him.
Quinton Spain, OL
Spain was the full-time starter at guard for the Bengals last year and was probably one of their best linemen. He has a connection to Arthur Smith as the two spent time together in Tennesse from 2015 to 2018. He’d probably immediately take the starting job from Mayfield, which makes me think this isn’t a realistic signing. The staff wants to see what they have in the former Michigan Wolverine.
Nick Easton, OL
Easton has a connection to Terry Fontenot after he signed with the Saints as a free agent in 2019. In and out of the Saints’ starting lineup, Easton has huge injury concerns and might be done playing football altogether; however, he’d be a great addition. He can play guard and center, should be affordable, and has plenty of experience.
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