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Wide receivers the Falcons could target throughout 2023 NFL Draft 

Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba and TCU's Quentin Johnson could be options in the first round 

Editor's note: This is the second installment of a five-part series examining NFL Draft options the Falcons could use to address positions of need. We'll go over players the Falcons could take at No. 8 overall, plus considerations on Day 2 and Day 3.

The Falcons have taken pass catchers Kyle Pitts and Drake London in the first round of the last two drafts, bolstering the receiving core. And in the last two seasons, both Pitts and London, respectively, have led Atlanta in receptions and receiving yards.

This offseason, they've added veterans Mack Hollins and Scotty Miller to the unit, in addition to keeping KhaDarel Hodge as a reliable depth piece. Still, however, that doesn't necessarily rule out the Falcons from taking a receiver this year.


Here, we'll take a look at some options they could go with on each day of the 2023 NFL Draft:

Day 1

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

As a sophomore, Smith-Njigba led Ohio State with 1,595 receiving yards on 95 receptions and nine touchdowns. Though he dealt with hamstring issues during his junior season, Smith-Njigba has the upside to transition well into the league. The 6-foot, 198-pound wideout has the versatility to create separation and make plays against his defenders. If the Falcons ultimately decide to draft another pass catcher in the first round, Smith-Njigba would be a solid option. It might be possible to get him in a trade down, picking up picks and the receiver they might want.

Quentin Johnston, TCU

At 6-foot-4 and 208-pounds, Johnston seems to be the most NFL ready wide receiver in his draft class. Throughout the course of his college career, the TCU product averaged 18.8 yards per reception. In 2022, he played a key role in helping TCU reach the College Football Playoff national championship. He's a physical route runner who can move fast for his size. Johnston is also an efficient run blocker, which will work well in Arthur Smith's offense.

Other options: Jordan Addison, USC; Zay Flowers, Boston College

North Carolina wide receiver Josh Downs (11) runs against Duke during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Day 2

Josh Downs, North Carolina

Downs, a Suwanee, Ga., native was a force during his time in Chapel Hill. Over the last two seasons, Downs accumulated 2,364 receiving yards on 195 receptions for 19 touchdowns. He's played primarily in the slot, seeing action on the outside just 81 times throughout his college career. Downs could very well be a realistic option for the Falcons, with a bonus that he grew up in the area. He also has commonalities with wide receiver Mack Hollins and head coach Arthur Smith, who both played at North Carolina.

Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

Hyatt finished the 2022 season with 15 receiving touchdowns, which ranked second in the FBS. The Tennessee product has great burst off the line of scrimmage, solid run blocking abilities and has proven to be an efficient route runner throughout his college career. His best season came in 2022, when he tallied 1,267 receiving yards on 67 receptions. If the Falcons are looking to add a versatile receiver on day two, Hyatt would be a steal.

Other Day 2 options: Michael Wilson, Stanford; Tank Dell, Houston

Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry (9) warms up before an NCAA college football game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Day 3

A.T. Perry, Wake Forest

Perry, a 6-foot-3 and 198-pound receiver, possesses great foot work and size to emerge as a quality receiver in the league. He accumulated over 1,000 yards in each of his last two seasons at Wake Forest. His frame allows him to create mismatches on smaller defensive backs, making it easier to win a 50-50 ball. Like Hyatt, Perry could very much be a steal late in the draft if the Falcons ultimately decide to take that route.

Other Day 3 options: Rashee Rice, SMU; Cedric Tillman, Tennessee; Kayshon Boutte, LSU

Atlanta Falcons players are back at Flowery Branch to kick off prep for the 2023 season.

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