The offense for the Atlanta Falcons has been desperate for a wide receiver who can burn a defense. Last year, they had Damiere Byrd (who they recently brought back) who provided a few explosive plays but this year they haven't found someone who can get behind the defense.
The Falcons recently traded for Rams WR Van Jefferson but they should have targeted former University of Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman who was just traded from the Jets back to the Chiefs.
Atlanta Falcons should have acquired Jets WR Mecole Hardman
Acquiring Georgia-born Mecole Hardman would have killed two birds with one stone for the Atlanta Falcons. First and foremost, he would give the offense a lot of speed, and second, he would give them a punt returner that can find the endzone or find some valuable yards.
Now, instead, the Falcons watched him get traded from the Jets to the team that he played for before, the Kansas City Chiefs. This was a missed opportunity by Terry Fontenot.
This is a similar trade to the Falcons trade for Van Jefferson. I like that they brought in Jefferson, he is a good player who got buried on the depth chart in L.A. but it is hard to watch the team pass up an opportunity to bring in a player who can fix two of their biggest problems.
Jefferson is not a slow player, but he certainly doesn't run a 4.3 like Hardman does.
I get it, Hardman has not been a threat the past two years, nevertheless, if you were willing to take a chance on Jefferson then why wouldn't you be willing to take a chance on a player who is an even bigger patch for the Falcons offense?
After losing Avery Williams for the year, the Falcons have been quite bad when it comes to returning punts. Hardman would be a threat to take punts back for a touchdown. The Falcons just don't have much explosiveness at punt returner.
Going into the season, Scotty Miller was supposed to be the threat that Hardman will be for the Chiefs. Things have not been pretty as Arthur Smith has had to force the ball into Miller's hands with pop passes. He also received a couple of punts in the early part of the season but the Falcons quickly went back to Mike Hughes.
All in all, acquiring Van Jefferson is better than nothing. He is a good player who will hopefully find chemistry with Desmond Ridder soon. But Mecole Hardman would have been the better option, plus Fontenot would have made a few UGA fans happy.