NFL facilities across the country are beginning to open, and soon enough, training camp will be taking place. With that in mind, I am starting another series surrounding the Falcons, featuring candidates that could have a break out 2020. If Atlanta is going to find their way back to the playoffs, they need several of these players to take substantial strides forward. We begin with a sophomore that Austin Hooper said will be one of the best guards in football before long.
The Falcons 14th overall selection last year was a surprise to many, and before we could even make any judgments based on his play, he was on Injured Reserve with a broken foot. Lindstrom did return for the final four games, however, and there’s a reason Atlanta was able to score 24+ in each contest while going 4-0. PFF gave him a respectable grade of 66.6, which is even better when considering he was coming off a significant injury.
When Lindstrom was drafted, he was pegged as an immediate starter that could one day be the best in the league. After one year, that description hasn’t changed. The Boston College product was immediately named by Matt Ryan (before last season) as a player that could make a difference in the offense, and Austin Hooper’s parting comments prior to signing with Cleveland should give fans some solace that the organization made the correct decision.
In year two, Lindstrom will slot in as the starting right guard. And he, along with Kaleb McGary, could form a powerful side for the Falcons to pound the rock. But while I’m not sold on McGary turning into a pro-bowler, or even an above-average starter, Lindstrom’s floor is already high, and he has the potential to be among the best lineman in football. As far as breakout candidates go, Lindstrom is the one I’m most sure of — as long as he stays healthy.