Last offseason, the Falcons went with the law of large numbers approach to rebuild their offensive line, which unfortunately did not result in success. The jury is still out on Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. They were rookies after all and have the potential to become terrific players. However, the signings of Jamon Brown and James Carpenter did not go as planned. With Wes Schweitzer being allowed to test free agency as well, the Falcons are back to square one as far as their offensive line goes. Hopefully, Lindstrom and McGary will grow as second-year players. Jake Matthews and Alex Mack are proven. But with little cap space to spend, the Falcons have to find a solution at left guard, as it doesn’t look like Brown, Carpenter, or Matt Gono are the answer.
One of my favorite lineman in this year’s draft class is Tyler Biadasz, who was the Wisconsin Badgers’ center for the past three seasons.
Biadasz was no top recruit, a three-star who had to redshirt his freshman season. He was a superb defensive lineman back in his high school days, but Wisconsin wisely kept him on the offensive side of the ball. When his time came, he never looked back. Biadasz started all 14 games as a freshman and received third-team All-Big Ten honors. He would go on to start every game of his college career — 41 in total. Let’s just say that when Jonathan Taylor is officially drafted and receives his contract, he owes Tyler a steak dinner. While Taylor is talented in his own right, Wisconsin is notorious for their run game, which all starts in the trenches. Biadasz has been an enormous part of that success over the past three seasons.
In 2018, Biadasz popped up on everyone’s radar with a breakout performance. His efforts led to first-team All-Big Ten honors, as he helped lead the way for Wisconsin to become the sixth-best rushing team in the nation, averaging 273.4 yards per game. He was rated as the nation’s top center in 2018 by Pro Football Focus with an 88.7 grade.
Biadasz could have opted to enter the NFL Draft but decided to return to school and take on even more of a leadership role than a center is accustomed to, as he was returning starter on the offensive line. Biadasz was incredible once again. Still, Wisconsin had an O-line per usual, which helped Jonathan Taylor receive his second Doak Walker Award in a row. Biadasz also allowed just 1 sack in 390 pass-blocking snaps. He became a unanimous first-team All-American and went on to win the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the best center in the country.
The best thing about Biadasz is, not only did he prove to be a terrific run blocker, but he is likely just as effective as a pass blocker. He has a balanced, pro-ready game that should allow him to start day one for a team that needs help on the interior line. Biadasz is a competitor; he plays hard every second of every down and can be a future anchor of an NFL offensive line with his high football IQ. He is an excellent move blocker with incredible ability to explode at the next level, and if he has a grip on you as a lineman… it’s over. Biadasz creates a lot of movement along the line and has the power and size at 6’4″, 314 pounds, to continue to do so in the NFL. He also flawlessly repeats his technique.
Of course, every prospect has their concerns. The most significant issue with Biadasz is a medical one — a hip surgery he underwent in the offseason leading into the 2019 season. This procedure could knock him down some draft boards, but he looked fantastic in 2019. Some have questioned his functional mobility, which is a bit less of a concern for an interior lineman. However, I think he is the safest interior line prospect in this class and a future Pro Bowler.
Biadasz will likely be a first or second-round pick — with the Falcons having three picks in that range — they could select a player that can plugin at guard immediately, addressing their short-term problem, and he can eventually replace Alex Mack, who is now 33 years old and in the last year of his contract. This would set up Matt Ryan with the best offensive line he’s had in years, with an even brighter future ahead for the unit. Once the Falcons snag their pass rusher, as many assume will be the case with their first selection, Biadasz should be among their next targets on the board unless he sneaks into the first round like 2018 Rimington Award winner Garrett Bradbury did. He is a first-rounder in my book, but he is still realistic in the second round as a safe target who fills a noticeable need.