The Atlanta Falcons have signed three new wide receivers in NFL free agency this offseason. But CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin still proposed the possibility of the Falcons trading for one more.
Benjamin named the Falcons one of four “logical landing spots” for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins.
“After a solid 2021 season in his first year under Nick Sirianni (43 catches, 647 yards), Watkins’ speed didn’t match his production as the No. 3 behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith during the Eagles’ Super Bowl bid,” Benjamin wrote. “His iffy hands could convince hyperactive GM Howie Roseman to offload him ahead of a contract year, saving an immediate $2.7M.”
Watkins would be an intriguing addition to the Falcons offense if general manager Terry Fontenot is interested in acquiring another pass catcher.
Watkins wasn’t as heavily involved in Philadelphia’s offense with the arrival of A.J. Brown in 2022. But in 2021, he recorded 647 receiving yards and averaged 15 yards per catch.
In the 2020 NFL combine, Watkins ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds. Only two players ran the drill faster in that year’s combine.
With that speed, Watkins has posted 83 catches for 1,107 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in three seasons with the Eagles. He had 33 receptions for 354 yards and 3 scores in 2022.
The Falcons already have some incredible young weapons in tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Drake London. Running backs Cordarrelle Patterson and Bijan Robinson also figure to be heavily involved in the passing game this season.
In free agency, Fontenot signed receivers Mack Hollins, Scotty Miller and Penny Hart. He also traded for tight end Jonnu Smith.
But a receiver who can take the top off defenses such as Watkins would be icing on the cake for the Falcons offense.
With a wideout like that, opposing defenses wouldn’t as easily be able to play safeties in the box. That would make Arthur Smith’s running game even more dangerous.
It could also open up easier completions on short to intermediate routes. That could be key to quarterback Desmond Ridder’s development.
Benjamin didn’t indicate if Watkins is actually on the trade block right now. It’s also not clear what the compensation for him might be.
But Fontenot would be wise to inquire.