The Falcons took a gamble and lost by declining Kaleb McGary’s fifth-year option, and now they’ll have to pay the price to keep him in town. Hindsight is 50/50, but McGary will probably get a big deal from somebody. The interior of the offensive line could also use help, so I’m splitting this group into interior linemen and tackles. If you missed my 2023 Offseason Overhaul series, where I went through and spent Atlanta’s cap space in my own perfect world, those are linked below:
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Quarterback
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Running Back
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Wide Receiver
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Tight End
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Offensive Line
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Defensive Line
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: EDGE
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Linebacker
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Cornerback
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Safeties & Special Teams
I’ll be ranking these guys considering things like cost and overall scheme fit, as well as if they would be brought in as a starter or reserve. Previous Editions are listed below:
- Falcons 2023 Free Agent Big Board: Quarterback
- Falcons 2023 Free Agent Big Board: Running Backs
- Falcons 2023 Free Agent Big Board: Wide Receiver
- Falcons 2023 Free Agent Big Board: Tight End
8. David Quessenberry — Buffalo Bills
Quessenberry is a guy who saw limited time, and at 32 years old, Atlanta could absolutely be interested in his services as a swing tackle.
7. Ja’Wuan James — Baltimore Ravens
James didn’t see much action for the Ravens, but he did look much improved in Baltimore after some up-and-down years in Miami. He could make for a solid backup swing option.
6. Isaiah Wynn — New England Patriots
Wynn has had his ups and downs with the Patriots, most notably a down year in 2022 in an offense coordinated by Matt Patricia. Still, he’s only 26 and another guy with positional flexibility. The Falcons should make a call to the former Georgia Bulldog.
5. Jawaan Taylor — Jacksonville Jaguars
Taylor is a serviceable option, but I would expect the Falcons to be concerned with his lack of chops as a run blocker. However, he was great in pass protection, so if they believe in their ability to get the best out of him in that aspect, I expect some interest in the 25-year-old.
4. Colton McKivitz — San Francisco 49ers
The former West Virginia Mountaineer is my under-the-radar signing for this exercise. Coming from Kyle Shanahan’s system, he played pretty well in limited snaps. He’s only 26 and could be an excellent option for depth or a risky option to replace Kaleb McGary as a starter.
3. Kelvin Beachum — Arizona Cardinals
This is a bit of a wonky scheme fit, but Beachum is a good pass blocker and a seasoned veteran that would provide the Falcons with some decent stability at the position on a shorter-term deal. He would be a great signing if you can get some value out of him as a run blocker.
2. Mike McGlinchey — San Francisco 49ers
McKivitz may be the heir apparent in San Francisco if Mike McGlinchey leaves in free agency. He never really lived up to the billing of the ninth overall pick in 2018, but he’s still a really solid tackle. His price point would probably scare me away, especially if he gets a Jack Conklin-esque deal.
1. Kaleb McGary — Atlanta Falcons
We knew this was coming. McGary is still the best option for the Falcons, and letting him walk after the chemistry we saw with Lindstrom is a very risky move. Hopefully, he doesn’t regress after a contract year because he was a huge part of Atlanta’s success on offense in 2022.
Interior Offensive Linemen:
8. Rodger Saffold — Buffalo Bills
Saffold was one of my top targets whenever Arthur Smith was first hired, but he signed with his former team, the Titans, and was pretty productive. He’s coming off a down season with the Bills but could make for a nice stopgap.
7. Trai Turner — Washington Commanders
Turner is another name that was popular among Falcons fans, and although he had a pretty average year for the Commanders, he could slide right in at left guard.
6. Wes Schweitzer — Washington Commanders
The former Falcon had a few really good years after leaving Atlanta, but like Turner, he’s coming off a so-so season. I could still see the Falcons having an interest in their old friend.
5. Dalton Risner — Denver Broncos
Risner is young and has positional flexibility, which means he could be an option at center as well if the Falcons decide to go that route.
4. Elijah Wilkinson — Atlanta Falcons
Wilkinson was one of the more pleasant surprises for the Falcons in 2022, and I have absolutely no issues with bringing him back on another deal, even if the Falcons sign somebody else.
3. Ben Powers — Baltimore Ravens
Powers is a weird fit because he isn’t a great run blocker, but he was a great pass blocker this past season — not allowing a sack and only one quarterback hit over 663 snaps as a pass blocker.
2. Isaac Seumalo — Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagle is undoubtedly the prize of this class, as he was one of the better guards in all of football this season. He helped spearhead a revitalized Eagles run game, and I expect plenty of teams to be interested — including the Falcons.
1. Nate Davis — Tennessee Titans
Davis is my top target for multiple reasons. He’s familiar with Arthur Smith, and he offers the best combination of play and price point. Even if he is a natural right guard, he would create a very imposing guard tandem alongside Chris Lindstrom.
Which offensive line free agents do you want the Falcons to target?
Photographer: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire
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