As loaded as the Los Angeles Rams were at wide receiver, it appeared they could handle one fewer wideout.
Sure enough, the team announced Tuesday, October 10, that it had traded 2020 second-round draft pick Van Jefferson plus a seventh-round pick in 2025 to the Atlanta Falcons for a sixth-round pick in the 2025 draft.
Sources: The #Falcons have agreed to trade for #Rams WR Van Jefferson. It’s a 2025 pick swap — 6th and 7th rounders. They hope to recapture his play from 2021. A low-risk, high-reward deal. pic.twitter.com/r5eowZIWjC
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 10, 2023
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the trade offered upside for the Falcons, who are 3-2 and a half-game behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the lead in the NFC South. “They hope to recapture his play from 2021,” Rapoport posted on X, formerly Twitter. “A low-risk, high-reward deal.”
Jefferson, 27, has only 8 receptions for 105 yards through five games this season, but two years ago, he 802 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns.
In his 49 games with the Rams, Jefferson showed flashes of the potential that made him a Day 2 pick in 2020. But after his breakout season in 2021, he missed six games with injury last season.
And his production dropped to 389 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. The return of the Rams’ top receiver, Cooper Kupp, and the emergence of Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell helped advance the idea of dealing away Jefferson. The Rams continue to stockpile on the draft picks through their recent string of trades.
In March 2023, the Rams acquired a third-round selection from the Miami Dolphins in the Jalen Ramsey trade. Cam Akers’ trade to the Minnesota Vikings involved a conditional 2026 sixth-round selection.