NFL Rumors: Justin Jefferson trade idea, Bears sleeper cell, Falcons OC swing

  • Falcons eyeing a big swing at OC for Raheem Morris' staff
  • Bears recruiting a sleeper cell from a division rival
  • Justin Jefferson trade idea floated is somewhat earnest

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages
1 of 3

NFL Rumors: Falcons interviewing LSU Co-OC Cortez Hankton for same role

Despite all of the Bill Belichick hullabaloo, the Atlanta Falcons have their new head coach and, to the chagrin of some, Arthur Blank and Co. landed on former Falcons defensive coordinator and most recently the Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.

Morris previously served as an assistant in Atlanta from 2015-20, including serving as the defensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2020 as well. He then made his way to the Rams where, despite some roster challenges, LA put forth one of the better defensive efforts in the NFC.

One of the big keys for Morris, who is getting his second crack at an NFL head coaching job after serving in that role for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009-11, will be how he fills out his staff, particularly on offense. With the likes of Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London in the fold, the expectation is for that group to take off under a new regime. But who will be the guy to guide that unit?

The Falcons and Morris are apparently contemplating taking a big swing in that department as, per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, they will interview recently promoted LSU co-offensive coordinator Cortez Hankton for the OC position in Atlanta.

As Rapoport mentioned, Hankton developed some great receiving talent at LSU as he served as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach over the past two seasons with the Tigers after previously holding those same roles with the Georgia Bulldogs. But on top of that, he also had a hand in the immense development of quarterback Jayden Daniels that helped him capture the 2023 Heisman Trophy.

Of course, Hankton or anyone who comes to Atlanta will have to deal with the quarterback question given the lackluster performances of Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke this past season. However, in terms of trying to make a splashy hire, Hankton may not be that in name outside of the shock value, but the splash could come with the effect he has on maximizing this Falcons offense.