The Falcons have done a solid job in free agency, but there’s still some work to do. I like a lot of options still available, and many of them come at positions of need for Atlanta. Today, I’m going to rank some of the guys that are left Atlanta should consider. They have some money to spend, but they could always roll over some of their cap space. Even then, there’s the possibility they could add one or more of these guys:
23. WR Kenny Golladay
Golladay’s contract will go down as one of the worst in Giants history, but his next deal with the Falcons would be dirt-cheap. He still has some upside as a playmaker if he can stay healthy.
22. WR Jarvis Landry
Landry was rumored to be interested in Atlanta when they were courting Deshaun Watson, but he signed with New Orleans and battled some injuries. He’d still make for a great low-cost option in a very thin wide receiver room.
21. LB Anthony Barr
The former Pro Bowler is coming off of a so-so year in Dallas, but he makes a lot of sense for the Falcons with their need at the position. I’d love to have the vet come in on a prove-it deal.
20. CB Troy Hill
The Falcons may not grab another nickel corner with Mike Hughes on the roster, but Hill has been a pretty consistent player for his entire career and is a quality run defender.
19. LB Rashaan Evans
Evans was pretty average for the Falcons last season, but they still have a huge need at linebacker, and his veteran presence would be welcome on a low-cost deal.
18. IDL Matt Ioannidis
Ioannidis is an extremely underrated player, but with the upgrades the Falcons have made across the defensive front, there may not be a role for him, which is why he’s ranked so low. Still, they need all the bodies they can get in the box.
17. S John Johnson III
Johnson was a cap casualty, but make no mistake, he can still play. I wanted him when he originally left the Rams, but the Browns signed him to a big deal. He’s coming off of a down 2022, but I’d love to snag him on a prove-it deal.
16. WR Olamide Zaccheaus
OZ is a really solid WR3, and the Falcons have a need at the position. He shouldn’t break the bank, and he’s made some big plays for Atlanta. I don’t see any risk in bringing him back.
15. S Rodney McLeod
One of the more underrated coverage safeties in the NFL, McLeod would make for a nice safety blanket next to Jessie Bates. This Falcons secondary needs all the help they can get.
14. S Adrian Amos
Even though he’s coming off of a down 2022 season, Amos was well-respected as one of the most consistent safeties in the game. Playing next to Jessie Bates and AJ Terrell on a prove-it deal could really appeal to him as he looks to rebuild some of his value.
13. IOL Dalton Risner
Guard is still a question mark for Atlanta, and although they could go with a cheaper option, Risner would be a fantastic pickup.
12. CB Rock Ya-Sin
Ya-Sin was a bright spot on a pretty bad Raiders team, and he was one of the better press man corners in the entire NFL last year. He could find a role in Atlanta, especially with Isaiah Oliver leaving town. The addition of Mike Hughes may disqualify Ya-Sin, but you can never have enough talented DBs in today’s NFL.
11. EDGE Dawuane Smoot
At 28 years old, Smoot is one of the more underrated names on the market. He would make for a solid rotational pass rusher on a team that could badly use the bodies.
10. IOL Elijah Wilkinson
Wilkinson played pretty well for the Falcons last year, and he was a big part of their offensive line turnaround. I’d love to have him back on a one or even two-year deal to continue the good chemistry up front.
9. EDGE Yannick Ngakoue
One of the few big names left in a poor class for EDGE defenders, Ngakoue is coming off of a 9.5 sack season and could be somewhat affordable. He’d instantly become the best pass rusher Atlanta has had in a while, but he has been inconsistent at times. I’d be much more comfortable if he’s willing to take a prove-it deal.
8. CB Ronald Darby
Darby would make for a solid CB2, which is exactly what the Falcons need across from AJ Terrell. Even if they draft a cornerback in the first round, Darby has been a consistent journeyman and would give them plenty of options at corner.
7. EDGE/LB Kyle Van Noy
The Falcons could kill two birds with one stone here, as they need help at linebacker and at EDGE. Van Noy is one of the most versatile defenders in the NFL — serving as a high-quality off-ball linebacker and pass rusher. If the value is right, he makes a ton of sense for Atlanta.
6. EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
At this point, Clowney is what he is — a hired gun. Regardless, Falcons fans have been begging for him for years, and I don’t see the harm with a thin EDGE room. He’s going to be a high-quality run defender no matter what, and although he has never had a ton of sack production, he could provide the Falcons with some much needed pressure off of the edge. I’d love to have him on a one-year deal.
5. IOL Connor McGovern
McGovern was well worth the three-year, $27 million deal he signed with the Jets, and he has established himself as one of the best run-blocking centers in the entire NFL. That’ll play in a run-heavy scheme in Atlanta that could really use an anchor up the middle with questions at center and left guard.
4. S Ryan Neal
One of my favorite targets before free agency began, Neal signed a tender with the Seahawks, but Seattle waived it and allowed him to hit free agency. He’s fantastic in coverage and solid in run support. At 27 years old, the Falcons could hand him a multi-year deal and pair him with Jessie Bates to really solidify the secondary.
3. IOL Ben Jones
My top target for the offensive side of the ball after DJ Chark signed with Carolina, Jones could lock down the center position for the Falcons for a year or two, and the veteran has plenty of experience playing in an Arthur Smith offense. Jones helped open massive holes for Derrick Henry, and hopefully, he could do the same for Atlanta’s running backs on a cheap deal.
2. EDGE Justin Houston
Is this the year Justin Houston finally comes back to Georgia? The Statesboro native and former Dawg is one of the most respected veterans in the entire NFL, and although he’s getting older, he can jump out of bed and get you ten sacks. I love his production, and he would be a great mentor for what’s a fairly young Falcons defense. He shouldn’t break the bank, either.
1. EDGE Leonard Floyd
I originally had Floyd’s teammate Taylor Rapp first on this list, but as I was writing this up, he signed with the Bills. Safety wasn’t the biggest need, but EDGE is certainly a massive need. Paying Floyd big money comes with a risk — he did have a ton of sack production, but Aaron Donald was drawing a lot of attention. With the Falcons boasting a brand new, and dare I say — really good — defensive line, I’m not as worried about bringing home the former Dawg.
Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire
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