ESPN just released their list of the top 100 players for the upcoming season, and the Falcons only had one player appear on the list — A.J. Terrell. That means a couple of All-Pros weren’t included.
Jessie Bates III is one of the best safeties in football, Grady Jarrett is severely underrated, and Kyle Pitts remains undervalued because of some fantasy football nonsense. However, none of them were included in ESPN’s snubbed group; that ‘honor’ goes to Chris Lindstrom.
Lindstrom should have cracked the top 100. He has started every game for the Falcons over the past three seasons, and there’s an argument to be made that he’s one of the league’s top three guards. Earlier this year, he solidified that argument when a $105 million extension made him the highest-paid offensive guard. Lindstrom is an expert technician at the position who earned his first Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors last season. — Moody
Only three guards made the list. Zack Martin was the highest, ranked 31st; he was followed by Joel Bitinio at 79th and Joe Thuney at 95th. Falcons fans will argue Lindstrom is better than all three, but I am here to tell you that isn’t true.
Zack Martin is still the standard. He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer and has not lost a step. I could hear an argument about Bitinio and Thuney, though. Lindstrom is probably a top-three guard in football, but it’s one of those positions that are rarely recognized for their accomplishments.
The Falcons have one of the best guards in the league, regardless of these rankings. Eventually, Lindstrom’s record-breaking deal will look like a bargain after several others reset the market. Zack Martin already forced the Cowboys’ hand and got a reworked contract, and others should follow.
Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire