The Atlanta Falcons traded a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills for tight end Lee Smith. This move gives Atlanta the blocking tight end they need in coach Arthur Smith's offense.
Smith, 33, has played 10 seasons in the NFL with two different teams – the Bills and the Raiders. He caught four passes for 35 yards and two touchdowns in his final season in Buffalo and saw 171 snaps, primarily used as an extra blocker.
The Falcons now have a tight end duo of Hayden Hurst and Smith. Hurst will be the primary option given his pass catching ability and experience with quarterback Matt Ryan. In his first season with the Falcons, Hurst caught 56 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns.
Hurst is expected to continue to be a big part of the Falcons' offense given his production last season and looking at what tight end Jonnu Smith did under Smith's tutelage in Tennessee over the last two seasons. Smith caught 76 passes for 887 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The acquisition of Smith gives the Falcons a veteran presence and will play a role in helping Atlanta get their run game back on track and ensure Ryan has better protection. The Falcons finished with the No. 27th ranked rushing offense in 2020, averaging 95.8 yards per game. Ryan was sacked 41 times last season.