We still expect the Atlanta Falcons to make further moves in the 2023 offseason. This is logical because they still need to improve their depth. They can do this through the draft, but they must also consider the trade market. Here we’ll look at one perfect NFL trade the Atlanta Falcons must complete in the 2023 offseason to improve their depth moving forward.
Despite failing to make the playoffs for five consecutive seasons, the Falcons displayed some positive signs for the future. They now have young players such as Tyler Allgeier and Drake London showing glimpses of their potential. Although they narrowly missed out on winning the NFC South, the Falcons were competitive in most of their games. A few more victories could have greatly changed their fortunes.
The Falcons have also been an intriguing team to follow this offseason. This is primarily due to their substantial salary cap space of almost $56 million, which was second only to the Chicago Bears. They’ve parlayed that into some important signings. Combined with a top-ten draft pick, Atlanta now has the potential to make a significant impact in the coming months.
Heading into the 2023 offseason, the Falcons had several areas of need. These included the offensive line, quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker, and edge positions. However, they have made significant strides in addressing these gaps. Again, remember that they started the new league year with over $60 million in cap space. They wasted no time in improving their squad. They acquired tight end Jonnu Smith via trade, extended right guard Chris Lindstrom, and agreed to terms with safety Jessie Bates III.
However, Atlanta didn’t stop there. They also signed linebacker Kaden Elliss, wide receiver Mack Hollins, and cornerback Mike Hughes. The Falcons also re-signed right tackle Kaleb McGary to a three-year contract. They also brought in quarterback Taylor Heinicke on a two-year deal and pass rusher Calais Campbell for one year. With these moves, the Falcons have made considerable progress. However, there may still be further opportunities for them to improve their roster.
Let’s look at the perfect trade the Atlanta Falcons must complete in the 2023 offseason.
Trade Richie Grant for picks
Ian Rapoport mentioned during the NFL Combine that the Falcons were one of many teams interested in trading with the Chicago Bears for the first overall pick. Unfortunately, the Carolina Panthers beat them to it. Nevertheless, the Falcons still have the option to pursue a trade. Remember that they currently hold the eighth overall pick. As such, they have the opportunity to select players such as EDGE Lukas Van Ness, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, or CB Christian Gonzalez. Of course, all of those are viable options.
Alternatively, the Falcons could explore the possibility of acquiring additional picks, either this year or next, through a trade. Young safety Richie Grant could be a valuable trade piece. Someone like him could potentially fetch a 2023 second-round pick or a couple of Day 2 picks, either this year or in 2024.
Richie Grant with a HUGE pick! @NFL | #DirtyBirdspic.twitter.com/NCOMIyX3MK
— FanSided (@FanSided) September 25, 2022
With the signing of Jessie Bates in free agency, the possibility of trading Grant for additional picks has become more viable. Bates provides the Falcons with a solid pairing alongside Jaylinn Hawkins in the secondary. While Grant is a promising player, his trade value may be higher than Hawkins’. Again, this makes Grant a potential asset to trade. Although it would be unfortunate to lose a young and talented player, trading Grant for two or three more could be a beneficial move for the team.
Acquiring an additional second-rounder by trading Grant would be an excellent outcome for the Falcons. Currently, the team possesses the No. 44 overall pick in the second round. This could lead them to select either OT Darnell Wright from Tennessee or CB Emmanuel Forbes from Mississippi State. Both players are solid choices, but an additional second-rounder would open up even more possibilities for the Falcons. With that, they could select EDGE BJ Ojulari from LSU or maybe even RB Jahmyr Gibbs from Alabama.
Ojulari, of course, is a junior defensive lineman/edge player for LSU and has played a significant role in the program since his freshman year. He is the younger brother of Azeez Ojulari, a defensive end for the New York Giants.
Jahmyr Gibbs, meanwhile, is a highly-rated junior running back prospect. He was a consensus 5-star recruit and opted to attend Georgia Tech in-state. He spent two years at Georgia Tech as the team’s best player on offense. Gibbs then transferred to Alabama for the 2022 season. He then immediately earned the starting RB position. He could do wonders for the Falcons in the backfield in place of Cordarrelle Patterson.
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