Before we get started, let me give a shoutout to Chris Lindstrom. He was awesome for the Falcons in 2020.
7th, 77.2 but he’s played the 2nd most snaps at RG in the league with 1,139. The six guys ahead of him haven’t played more than 883. Of those that have played a minimum of 500 snaps he’s 5th at RG.
— Evan Birchfield (@EvanBirchfield) January 4, 2021
Right guard seems to be solidified for the foreseeable future, but the Falcons are littered with question marks after that. I’ve already penned what seems like an inevitable farewell to Alex Mack. His loss will be felt immensely, as the remaining pieces of the offensive line don’t exactly inspire much confidence.
Jake Matthews draws a lot of flak, but he should still be considered one of the better tackles in football. The rest of this list is… concerning. I fully expect James Carpenter to be cut. Kaleb McGary had a nice start to 2020 but quickly faded down the stretch. Matt Hennessy is a young player that didn’t really get an offseason. He was pretty shaky in pass-protection, but the sample size is minuscule. There is potential with him. Matt Gono finally had some opportunities this season, but he proved he’s nothing more than just a swing tackle
Offensive line isn’t the BIGGEST need on this team, but the Falcons have to acquire some help for sure. I’ve mentioned Landon Dickerson as an option a few times, and I think he would play at either guard or center — both spots Hennessy has struggled at. Dickerson’s injury could also end up hurting his draft stock, meaning someone might be able to find a steal in the middle rounds. You won’t hear a single complaint out of me if Atlanta selects Penei Sewell, I think he’s a generational talent at the position and a franchise cornerstone.
It’s really not a question of if, but when and how Atlanta fixes the offensive line. James Carpenter is making way too much money for what he brings to the table, and Alex Mack probably won’t be a Falcon in 2021. If Atlanta wants to extend Matt Ryan‘s career and get this offense back to its glory days, the offensive line and running game HAVE to be fixed in this draft with limited free agency resources.