Falcons: ProFootballNetwork ranks Atlanta’s offensive line way too low

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With the dead period in the NFL in full swing, it’s officially rankings szn, and ProFootballNetwork is not very high on the Falcons offensive line. While I agree that the unit isn’t a strength of the team, I think they are ranked far too low at 30th in the league. For you mathematicians out there, that’s third-worst in the entire NFL.


The Falcons were actually ranked 31st yesterday, but after the Steelers cut David DeCastro, it looks like PFN adjusted their rankings and put Pittsburgh at 32nd. Here’s what PFN had to say about Atlanta:

Considering the talent in terms of draft capital on the Atlanta Falcons offensive line, the results so far have been poor. Kaleb McGary needs to improve, having tied for the seventh-worst in terms of blown blocks (34) at the tackle position. Chris Lindstrom and Jake Matthews both had solid seasons in 2020, but neither produced the elite returns you would expect from a first-round offensive lineman.

The biggest issue for the Falcons comes at their left guard and center pairing. The departure of Alex Mack and James Carpenter leaves Matt Hennessy potentially partnering with Matt Gono. Hennessy had a 4.5% blown block rate in pass protection, while Gono was over 7%, largely playing at right tackle. Josh Andrews could improve that left guard position if he can beat out the rest of the Falcons’ OL depth chart.

There are some valid criticisms in there, and obviously since I am a fan covering the team, I am a bit biased, but there are a few factors PFN isn’t considering:

  1. Dwayne Ledford is going to be a fantastic O-Line coach
  2. Matt Hennessy didn’t even get a full offseason last year due to COVID
  3. Chris Lindstrom was not solid, he was VERY good.
  4. Matt Gono is actually injured, which hurts Atlanta

I already talked about how the Falcons should have interest in the aforementioned David DeCastro if he doesn’t retire because he would lock down one of the guard spots with Lindstrom. I think Jake Matthews is pretty underrated by Falcons fans, but solid is a good description for him. It’s hard to get the consistency he provides at left tackle week in and week out. I’m more optimistic about my own team, but I think the Falcons offensive line should be ranked ahead of teams like the Texans, Bengals, Vikings, and Raiders.


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