As the deadline for the final 53-man roster approaches, it is becoming clearer the Falcons will not have an impressive group along the offensive front. The starters may be serviceable if Arthur Smith and the offensive staff can scheme favorable matchups, but the depth is concerning. Josh Andrews likely won the starting left guard job purely because Jalen Mayfield blundered his final opportunity against the Browns, but it’s not advantageous to stand pat and be content with where the roster stands.
I believe Terry Fontenot will be scouring the waiver wire to improve the roster in any area possible, but especially along the offensive line. Andrews is a seventh or eighth lineman on any competent NFL roster, and the fact is Jalen Mayfield and Drew Dalman aren’t ready to play in almost any capacity, in my eyes. That isn’t to say they won’t develop into reliable starters in the future; in fact, I believe they both will. However, neither is physically mature enough to withstand a full season starting.
Andrews is obviously the weak link across the line of scrimmage, even if we don’t know how Hennessy will fair. Fontenot should look to upgrade at the position, and the answer could be a former two-time All-Pro guard — David DeCastro. Even though the former Steeler is a career right guard, it is still worth a shot to see if the veteran is willing to come in and play left guard.
There is uncertainty surrounding whether DeCastro will retire after having offseason surgery on his ankle for the third time. “I have to get surgery on my ankle a third time,” DeCastro said in a text to Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “I tried to fix it last year, but the bone spurs kept coming back. It nagged me pretty bad all last year.”
It might be hard to make a comeback both physically and mentally at his age, but there is hope. “My wife thinks I’ll play again, she knows me,” he said. “It all depends how [the surgery] turns out,” DeCastro said. “I really couldn’t tell you right now. We’ll see and I’ll move on from there. We’ll see how the body is. I’ll be honest with myself. I tried to trick myself and give it a fair shot, but the body never lies to you.”
DeCastro is an immediate upgrade over Josh Andrews, even after coming off surgery. It might be a difficult situation because DeCastro probably wants to play for a contender if he does end up playing, and one that needs a right guard, not a left guard. With that being said, the Falcons should still inquire about his mindset on the 2021 season; the left guard position NEEDS upgrading.