Chris Lindstrom among elite territory in latest ESPN rankings

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The Falcons feature a solid offensive line, and the star of the group is Chris Lindstrom, who is coming off an All-Pro campaign and a record-setting contract extension that makes him the highest-paid guard in football. However, he’s still not seen as the best… or even in the top five among players at his position, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN’s latest poll that asks execs, coaches, and scouts around the league.

Lindstrom came in ranked as the seventh-best interior offensive lineman and the sixth-best guard. Below is the full list, including honorable mentions and those who received votes:

  1. Zack Martin
  2. Joe Thuney
  3. Quenton Nelson
  4. Elgton Jenkins
  5. Joel Bitonio
  6. Jason Kelce
  7. Chris Lindstrom
  8. Creed Humphrey
  9. Brandon Scherff
  10. Frank Ragnow

Honorable mentions: Erik McCoy, Trey Smith, Landon Dickerson, Corey Linsley, Wyatt Teller, Mike Onwenu

Others receiving votes: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Laken Tomlinson, Ryan Jensen, Ryan Kelly, Quinn Meinerz

Here’s what Fowler had to say about Lindstrom:

Lindstrom’s breakout year in Atlanta ended with a Pro Bowl appearance, a second-team All-Pro nod and a¬†five-year, $105 million¬†extension with Atlanta, making him the highest-paid guard in NFL history.

“Really good player, technician — the only thing holding him back from the top, top tier is he’s a bit dependent on the [zone blocking] scheme he’s in,” an NFL personnel evaluator said. “I don’t know if he would be as good if he was in another scheme.”

Lindstrom committed two penalties and allowed five sacks in 2022.

Most Falcons fans aren’t going to like this list, and though they might have an argument, the differences between Lindstrom, Bitonio, Jenkins, Nelson, and Thuney are minimal. Some might believe Martin is passed his prime, but that’s not the case. He’s still the best guard in football. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer has more All-Pros than holding calls.

This is no knock against Chris Lindstrom because you could argue he is the second-best player at his position, but Falcons fans need to stop looking through rose colored glasses.

Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

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