The Falcons are trying to get tougher up front on both sides of the ball. Arthur Smith’s offense is predicated on running the ball successfully and then building play action passing concepts off of those runs. It starts with committing to ground game, which the Falcons had trouble doing last season. The offensive line effectively created no push along the line of scrimmage, evident in the team’s lowly rushing yards before contact. The group up front is a work in progress, and I imagine the Falcons will have a new left guard and right tackle before long, but Chris Lindstrom will be a staple among the Falcons offensive line for the foreseeable future.
Sam Monson of PFF recently ranked Lindstrom among the league’s best guards — in the “Road graders but not elite in pass pro” tier:
Chris Lindstrom has been an impressive player for the Falcons since being drafted in the first round, but the offensive line regressing around him just highlights the limitations of a guard’s impact on the entire unit.
The Boston College product has been a staple of the offensive front since the team drafted him a handful of years ago, and Lindstrom sees himself being in Atlanta for a long time. As expected, the Falcons exercised Lindstrom’s fifth-year option earlier this offseason, which is the first step. He’s set to earn $13.2 million in 2023 on the option if he’s not extended beforehand, which will be one of the front office’s highest priorities next offseason.
Despite not getting national recognition, Lindstrom is one of the best guards in football. He was one of only a few guards last season not to surrender a sack, but that’s what landed him on the NFL’s most underrated list.
Right guard Chris Lindstrom, however, was one of just three guards (Halapoulivaati Vaitai of the Lions and Justin Pugh of the Cardinals were the others) who didn’t give up a single sack among those who played at least 50% of their offenses’ snaps. The Falcons selected Lindstrom with the 14th overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Boston College, and 2021 was the year in which Lindstrom was able to put it all together — he gave up just eight quarterback hits and 23 quarterback hurries in 661 pass-blocking reps. He also proved to be a good, technically sound run-blocker.
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