Starting Left Guard: Chris Chester
A ton of weight has been taken off the Falcons shoulders. The Falcons finally decided to pursue a true offensive guard. A couple of days ago, the team signed Chris Chester, who has started every game in the past four seasons. It is kind of odd to not see Justin Blalock at this position, as he has been the Falcons left guard for the past seven seasons. No offense to Mike Person, but I feel a lot more comfortable with Chester getting the starting role. Person has never started a game since his career started in 2011, and he also has been released four times. Chester is familiar with Kyle Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme, so he can help his teammates learn the system. Chester is far from perfect, as he struggled in run blocking last season. Nevertheless, he is an average Guard in this league, which is just what the Falcons needed. He also is very durable, as I previously stated he has started every game in the past four seasons. Chester gets the starting role.
Starting Right Guard: Jon Asamoah
Jon Asamoah was one of the few bright spots on the offensive line in 2014. An offensive lineman is playing his best when he is not noticed. A lot of times in 2014, many people forgot Asamoah was on the field. That means he would be dominating his opponents. Asamoah was rated 24th overall among all guards by Pro Football Focus last season, grading positively both in the pass and rushing game. Expect Jon Asamoah to be starting Week 1 vs the Eagles.
Backups: Mike Person, James Stone
James Stone is very versatile. Stone is noted to be a center, but he can play any position on the line, so he is listed here as a backup. While Person has not had any starts in his career, he has played some snaps and could serve as decent depth. Harland Gunn is also deep down the depth chart, but could be a strong cut candidate before the season kicks off. The Falcons are very thin at Guard, and the starters remaining healthy is crucial to the Falcons’ success this season.