Projecting the Falcons starting lineup: Offense

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It almost doesn’t feel real, but we are less than two weeks away from the NFL kicking off, and despite all the concerns about COVID-19, things have gone relatively smoothly (knock on wood). Training camp is wrapping up, and next Sunday, the Falcons will take the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, there will be no fans, but hey — football with no fans is better than no football at all. By now, Dan Quinn, Dirk Koetter, and Raheem Morris should have a good idea of who the starters will be. Over the next two days, I will be projecting the starting lineups, beginning with the offense.

Quarterback: Matt Ryan

Duh. This doesn’t need to be talked about.

Running Back: Todd Gurley

This one is obvious as well. Gurley will have some games were his snaps are limited, but he will be featured each week as much as his knee can handle.

Wide Receiver #1: Julio Jones

The GOAT… enough said.

Wide Receiver #2: Calvin Ridley

I’m expecting a breakout campaign from Ridley as he enters his third season.

Wide Receiver #3: Russell Gage

The Falcons have many talented wide receivers, which created a competition for the role as the slot wide receiver. However, it looks like Russell Gage has run away with the job. He should be an integral part of the Falcons offense in 2020.

Tight End: Hayden Hurst

The Falcons didn’t trade a second-round pick to the Ravens for Hayden Hurst to be a backup. Dirk Koetter is expecting big things from the ultra-athletic tight end.

Left Tackle: Jake Matthews

Matthews has been a staple at left tackle in Atlanta for six years now and has only missed one game over that span (in his rookie season).

Left Guard: Matt Hennessy

As far as the offense goes, this was probably the most competitive battle in training camp. However, it looks like the rookie third-round pick, Matt Hennessy, has impressed enough to start right out of the gate. That’s a fantastic sign for Atlanta’s offensive line going into the season.

Center: Alex Mack

Alex Mack is getting up there in age, but he is still one of the game’s best centers. The Falcons are hoping for at least one more high-quality season from the 12th-year veteran.

Right Guard: Chris Lindstrom

Having Lindstrom at 100% for the full season will be critical to the Falcons’ success in 2020. He returned for the final four games last year, and Atlanta’s offense was humming on the way to a 4-0 record. After Austin Hooper signed his new deal with the Cleveland Browns, he told ESPN’s Vaughn Mcclure that Lindstrom will be one of the game’s best interior offensive linemen.

Right Tackle: Kaleb McGary

McGary had an up and down rookie campaign. His improvement in his second season will be critical to the offense’s success.

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