Falcons: Ten free agents that should be on Atlanta’s Christmas List

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The Falcons have essentially been eliminated from the playoffs after a loss to the 49ers, and their issues in the trenches were exposed yet again against a physical football team. I’m still of the belief that the Falcons should take the best player on the board in the draft and look to free agency to fill their needs, even with a limited amount of cap space. Atlanta can always extend Grady Jarrett and make a trade or cuts to free up space as well. Here are ten names that I have in mind going into this offseason.

 

IOL James Daniels – Chicago Bears

In my opinion, James Daniels should be Plan A, B, and C going into this offseason for Atlanta. Daniels was a standout at Iowa and played all over the offensive front, and now the 24-year-old is a staple of Chicago’s offensive line at left guard. He’s young, balanced with his skill set, plays multiple positions, and shouldn’t break the bank. I don’t know what else you could ask for.

 

WR Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers

The Falcons would have to fork over a pretty penny to get Mike Williams, but the 27-year-old has had a fantastic year with the Chargers after finally shaking off some injuries. He immediately fills the void at X receiver left by Julio Jones and gives you another Red Zone threat next to Kyle Pitts.

 

DL Akiem Hicks – Chicago Bears

Akiem Hicks is a pretty similar player to Grady Jarrett, and that’s something that should appeal to Falcons fans. Hicks can play inside out, but he generates a lot of push at the line of scrimmage and should help Jarrett eat up blockers, allowing Atlanta’s other edge rushers to get through. Like Williams, Hicks would cost a decent chunk of change, but he would improve this team in the trenches drastically.

 

EDGE Derek Barnett – Philadelphia Eagles

Surprisingly, Derek Barnett is only 25-years-old. He has just two sacks on the season, but he has generated a decent amount of pressure. Barnett wouldn’t fix Atlanta’s pass rush overnight, but he could provide a young infusion of talent if the price is right. It’s hard to ask for more than that with limited cap space.

 

EDGE DeMarcus Walker – Houston Texans

You can pretty much cut and paste everything I said about Barnett for Walker down to the two sacks on the season, except that Walker is 27-years-old instead of 25. It will be key for the Falcons to build a strong supporting class of guys who can at least get to the quarterback at an average rate. Almost anybody you can snag in free agency is an upgrade at this point.

 

EDGE Arden Key – San Francisco 49ers

I actually wanted Arden Key when he was cut by the Raiders earlier this offseason, and he has had a good bounceback season with the 49ers. Once a guy who was pegged as a potential first overall pick out of LSU, Key seems to have finally strung together a few nice games with five sacks over his last six games. He’s a high upside play for the Falcons at only 25-years-old.

 

EDGE Lorenzo Carter – New York Giants

Carter has been a late bloomer of sorts, and he has rewarded New York’s patience with loads of consistent pressure in 2021. He’s another guy like Walker and Barnett; the 26-year-old Atlanta native would at least provide the Falcons with some young talent at the position for what should be a decent price.

 

CB JC Jackson – New England Patriots

Ever since JC Jackson came into the league, he has done nothing but turn over the football. The 26-year-old has a staggering 24 career interceptions with a league leading 20 passes defended in 2021. Jackson would be a massive get for the Falcons, but he would also come with a massive price tag.

 

CB Mike Hughes – Kansas City Chiefs

After being swapped for a sixth-round pick earlier this offseason, the former first round pick Mike Hughes has been one of the better cornerbacks in the league for the Chiefs in 2021. The 24-year-old UCF product is a true weapon on the boundary, and pairing him with AJ Terrell could create a dangerous tandem for Atlanta.

 

S DeShon Elliott – Baltimore Ravens

The 24-year-old Elliott sadly landed on Injured Reserve, but he was playing some really good football before he tore his pec and bicep. He would provide the Falcons with some upgraded safety depth alongside Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins, and hopefully at a reasonable price tag.

 

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