PFF: Falcons should sign this veteran WR

NFL: SEP 11 Saints at Falcons

The 2023 roster is the best of Arthur Smith’s tenure as Falcons head coach. It’s not debatable.

Following back-to-back 7-10 campaigns while dealing with a mountain of dead money, the club finally emerged from underneath the former regime’s bad contracts. It enabled the new regime to participate in free agency with no financial restrictions, resulting in a haul of veterans, mainly on the defensive side of the ball.

The defense features impact players at all three levels, with Jessie Bates III quarterbacking from the safety position. Kaden Elliss is out to prove last year was no fluke, but the defensive front is where the most considerable changes came. Grady Jarrett has essentially been a one-man wrecking crew for much of his tenure in Atlanta. Not anymore.

Calais Campbell and David Onyemata grab headlines, as they should, but it doesn’t include the depth pieces like Eddie Goldman, Ta’Quon Graham, Zach Harrison, Bud Dupree, and Lorenzo Carter. It’s a formidable group.

The offense returns four of five starters along the line as well as two top 10 picks in Drake London and Kyle Pitts, while adding another in Bijan Robinson. That doesn’t even include the likes of Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Allgeier, and the recently acquired Jonnu Smith.

However, there’s one glaring hole on the roster — WR2. PFF believes the Falcons should address it by way of veteran pass catcher Jarvis Landry.


Landry is an underneath slot receiver who could be a safety valve over the middle for quarterback Desmond Ridder, and the Falcons are still thin at pass catcher beyond Kyle Pitts and Drake London. After missing most of the 2022 season with an injury, Landry is likely looking at one-year flier contract offers once again in 2023.

Landry is also known to be a good veteran leader, which could be a positive addition to a team with a lot of young offensive weapons. He’s coming off the two worst seasons of his career, but he was arguably the best slot receiver in the NFL from 2015 to 2020; his 3,938 receiving yards, 1,748 yards after the catch, 1,166 yards after contact and 91 explosive receptions of 15 or more yards all ranked first among qualifying slot receivers over that span. The Falcons buying low on a potential bounce-back could age nicely in the right setting.

More than anything, Landry’s experience and leadership would be the most compelling aspect of a signing. He’s no longer the guy he used to be, but those intangibles are worth exploring.

I don’t see a deal like this coming to fruition because the Falcons don’t need another wideout as bad as the media might lead you to believe. Mack Hollins is a more than capable WR2 in Arthur Smith’s offense. The Falcons are going to run the ball out of two and three tight end sets while also using Bijan Robinson and Cordarrelle Patterson as pass catchers. When’s it all said and done, Hollins could total the fifth or sixth-most touches on the offense behind guys like Pitts, London, Allgeier, Robinson, and Patterson.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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