PFF: Chris Lindstrom having All-Pro campaign for Falcons

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The Falcons are one of the best rushing teams in the NFL, and a big reason for that is the personnel changes the starting five underwent this offseason. Elijah Wilkinson has been a revelation at left guard in place of Jalen Mayfield, who was widely considered the single worst lineman in football last year. The veteran isn’t some Pro Bowl-caliber player, but he’s undoubtedly an exponential upgrade over the former third-round pick. Drew Dalman has struggled at times, but his best is an improvement over Matt Hennessy‘s best. Moreover, Chris Lindstrom is a road grader and is having an All-Pro campaign as PFF’s highest-graded right guard.

The former first-round pick has quickly become Atlanta’s best offensive lineman, so it’s no surprise the team exercised Lindstrom’s fifth-year option earlier this offseason, which is set to pay him $13.2 million in 2023.

I would almost guarantee the Falcons will try and get Lindstrom extended before the 2023 season begins. After all, the Boston College product sees himself in Atlanta for a long time. He’s one of the best guards in football, and in this offense, Lindstrom is invaluable. In Tennessee, Arthur Smith praised Rodger Saffold for being a significant reason the run game was so successful; in Atlanta, it’s Lindstrom.

Now, obviously, it takes the entire line, tight ends, and even receivers to have a successful run game. But Lindstrom doesn’t get enough praise for the incredible work he does. It’s not just in the run game; he was one of the few guards not to surrender a single sack last season.

Lindstrom won’t be cheap. Quinton Nelson reset the guard market with a deal that has a $20 million AAV, with a trio of others — Brandon Scherff, Joel Bitonio, and Joe Thuney — sitting around $16 million AAV. I imagine a new deal will cost the Falcons around $15 million per year.

Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire
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