Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith
Atlanta Falcons

Falcons Encouraged to Target 3-Time All-Pro WR in Blockbuster Trade

The Atlanta Falcons have perhaps the brightest collection of young skilled-players on offense in the NFL. Fittingly, two of those players were ranked on Pro Football Focus’ list of top 25 players under 25 years old.

But Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport argued the Falcons should consider targeting a veteran receiver in a trade to complement their young playmakers. The top receiver Davenport named as a potential target for the Falcons was Arizona Cardinals wideout DeAndre Hopkins.

“The Cardinals are a rebuilding team with a level of uncertainty at quarterback due to Kyler Murray’s injury,” Davenport wrote. “Hopkins is the wrong side of 30 and carries a cap hit north of $30 million.

“Of course, when healthy, Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the league.”

The problem, though, is whether Hopkins will be healthy. He’s missed nine games over the past two seasons because of various ailments. He also sat out six contests last year due to a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

But Davenport is right that Hopkins is still a force when on the field. He last made an All-Pro team (second team) in 2020. In 2022, he recorded 64 catches for 717 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.

Mixed reports have emerged about whether Hopkins is available through a trade this offseason. Perhaps a more realistic option for the Falcons, if they do pursue a trade for a veteran receiver, is New York Jets’ Corey Davis.

In addition to Hopkins, Davenport also called the Falcons a top potential suitor for Davis.

“In New York, Davis is the third option in the passing attack behind Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard – at best,” Davenport wrote. “The odds he’ll be on the team in 2024 range between slim and none. But the 6’3”, 209-pounder is also a talented young wideout who was once the fifth overall pick.

“Davis just hasn’t been a fit in New York. A change of scenery would likely be best for both player and team.”

Similar to the situation with Hopkins, the Jets have remained steadfast in their desire to keep Davis. But things could always change during training camp.

Last season, Davis posted 32 catches for 536 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has recorded 66 receptions and 1,028 yards in two seasons with the Jets.

But with the Titans in 2020, Davis set a career-high with 984 receiving yards. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith served as Davis’ offensive coordinator that season.