Rams Reveal What They Received in Van Jefferson Trade

Van Jefferson

Getty Van Jefferson hauls in a reception against the Colts on October 1, 2023 in Indianapolis.

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.

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.

Van Jefferson Fell on the Rams’ Depth Chart

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.

Van Jefferson Gets New Lease in Atlanta

Jefferson gets a fresh start in Atlanta, where Desmond Ridder will begin feeding him the football, plus he’ll be in a room with tight end Kyle Pitts and running back Drake London.

CBS Sports praised the Falcons for making the deal, giving them an “A” grade.

“If Arthur Smith and the coaching staff can tap back into Jefferson’s potential, it could be end up being one heck of a pickup,” Tyler Sullivan wrote. “After all, he is only 27. And if Jefferson doesn’t prove to be a player that fits in the system, he’s a free agent at the end of the year and it only cost you a few spots at the draft. A very worthwhile gamble for the Falcons.

Meanwhile, gave the Rams only a “C” for the deal.

“L.A. was never going to get a substantial return for Jefferson,” he wrote. “A second guess would be if they should have waited a bit closer to the deadline to see if a more significant return sprouted up. In the end, however, they gain greater draft capital in return for a player that they likely would have let walk in free agency this offseason, which isn’t nothing.”

Before the deal, Jake Mozarsky of FanSided wrote that Jefferson would be a fit for the New York Jets, who are dealing with their own wide receiver room issues, notably involving depth. And the Jets happen to also be aiming to shop one of their own wideouts, Mecole Hardman, according to Jeremy Fowler.

“Wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jets look into Jefferson, especially if Mecole Hardman is traded,” Mozarsky wrote in a since-deleted posted on X. “Depends on what they’re willing to give up/ what the Rams want for Jefferson, but the WR room in N.Y. is thin behind Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard.”

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