Falcons: Under the radar trade targets before free agency

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I listed some blockbuster trade targets on Tuesday, but with Atlanta’s salary cap situation and an excellent list of free-agent targets — the Falcons may be better off hanging onto their picks. I tried to target teams with expensive rosters and clubs who are on the verge of a rebuild. But what about some under the radar candidates that could be on the move? Regardless, here are a few guys I think Atlanta could target with a lower cost that could immediately improve the roster.


Skill Players:


RB Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers

RB DeeJay Dallas, Seattle Seahawks

WR Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

TE Isaac Nauta, Green Bay Packers

TE Kaden Smith, New York Giants

TE Pharaoh Brown, Houston Texans


Before I start, I don’t care to trade for running backs. They’re easier to draft, run for four years, then move. However, I love Justin Jackson, and he’s in a crowded Chargers backfield right now. DeeJay Dallas played pretty well in limited action, and he is also buried in Seattle’s depth chart, only getting 34 carries before an injury.

The Falcons don’t even need a wide receiver, but I wanted to shoutout Darnell Mooney. He is going to be a monster when he gets out of the quarterback hell known as Chicago. Mooney will likely be Allen Robinson‘s replacement when he leaves in free agency, and the Bears would be dumb to trade him. As a UGA student, I can confidently say that Nauta made a mistake going to the NFL, but he’s a reliable and young tight end that’s a good blocker. He’s also behind about three guys on the Packers depth chart.

Kaden Smith is in the same boat, but with Saquon Barkley returning, New York would be wise to hold onto him. Pharaoh Brown played well in limited snaps, and with Houston starving for draft picks — a day three pick could net Atlanta a freak athlete who could develop nicely under Hayden Hurst.


Offensive Line:


C Nick Martin, Houston Texans

G Rodger Saffold, Tennessee Titans

G Dalton Risner, Denver Broncos

G Brett Jones, Minnesota Vikings

G James Daniels, Chicago Bears


Nick Martin is pretty solid as a center, but I like many of the draft options available, like Landon Dickerson. I wanted Rodger Saffold the same offseason Atlanta inked Jamon Brown and James Carpenter for more money… so… that’s why he’s here. Dalton Risner is excellent and versatile, so I don’t see Denver letting him go for cheap. Minnesota has some massive holes on the interior of their line, so unless they plan to hammer that spot in the draft — Jones may get a shot in 2021. Jones was outstanding in 2020, albeit over 134 snaps. Chicago’s offensive line is a mess, and with limited cap space, they may look to move Daniels before paying him next offseason. 


Front Seven:


IDL/EDGE Da’Shawn Hand, Detroit Lions

EDGE Harold Landry III, Tennessee Titans

EDGE Zach Allen, Arizona Cardinals

EDGE Josh Sweat, Philadelphia Eagles

LB Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers


I love Da’Shawn Hand, and with front office/coaching turnover in Detroit, he could be on the move. I would take Hand all day for a day two pick. Harold Landry may want to reunite with Dean Pees, and although he didn’t take the step forward many expected in 2020, he is oozing with upside. I loved Zach Allen in the last draft, but he didn’t make a significant impact under Vance Joseph. He could be a cheap developmental project.

With the Eagles not having much direction or cap space, I’d love to snag Josh Sweat as well. He’s due for a contract next offseason, and for as well rounded as he is, it would sting for Philly to let him walk for nothing. I don’t see San Francisco trading Greenlaw with two years remaining on his deal and their window still open (when they’re healthy), but Fred Warner is going to need a big contract sooner rather than later.




CB Greedy Williams, Cleveland Browns

CB Rock Ya-Sin, Indianapolis Colts

CB Isaiah Rodgers, Indianapolis Colts

S Taylor Rapp, Los Angeles Rams

S Jordan Fuller, Los Angeles Rams

S Vonn Bell, Cincinnati Bengals

S DeShon Elliott, Baltimore Ravens


I like Greedy Williams a lot, but he has had injury troubles. Cleveland’s roster will get expensive very quickly, so they may look to recoup some picks for him. Rock Ya-Sin has been very disappointing, but he’s a lottery ticket with some upside. I liked Isaiah Rodgers a lot in limited action.

Taylor Rapp and Jordan Fuller are in the same boat. Both guys are solid, but with all of the dead money from the Goff trade, the Rams may look to recoup some picks and use the money to bring back one of my favorite free agents — John Johnson. Von Bell is exceptionally cheap and very good, but unless Terry Fontenot wants a reunion, I don’t see this happening. Ditto for DeShon Elliott, especially on an expensive Ravens roster. This is a pretty good safety class, and they are easily found in free agency, so I’m not dying to acquire one.

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