Potential Atlanta Falcons Prospects: Tackle Bobby Massie

Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Mississippi Rebels offensive lineman Bobby Massie does the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Let's assume for a second that the Falcons will not be getting a left tackle out of free agency. At that point, it becomes incumbent on the team to at least get a young guy with upside, someone they can develop behind Will Svitek to give him a capable backup at the very least.

In my mind, Bobby Massie fits the bill.

Who is Massie? He's a 6'6", 318 pound offensive tackle from Ole Miss who's still a bit raw. He has the wingspan you want from a left tackle, the size and the strength, though it didn't show up in his 22 bench press reps at the Combine. His upside is considerable, to the point where I would consider him a lock to be a Top 10 tackle in the NFL if he ever reaches it.

The problem? He's just not ready right now. He needs more conditioning and he needs to work on his footwork to deal with speed rushers at the NFL level, but he's a coachable kid who works hard. Time and effort should help him get to that level, but the team that selects him will have to know going in that he's not going to be an elite NFL starter from day one.

The Falcons are in a tough spot. On one hand, they'd like an elite left tackle right damn now, and Will Svitek is not that guy. On the other hand, Svitek looks capable as a starter and could hold down the fort for a year or two, especially if the Falcons get their muddled right guard situation sorted out and improve the line overall. If they're willing to roll the dice a little and let Svitek have some run at LT, Massie could make a lot of sense.

The only issue? As Rotoworld notes, he's widely projected to be a second-or-third rounder at this point, so the Falcons would have to spend one of their first picks of the draft on him. I would argue that potentially solving the positional woe for the long haul would be worth it, if they believe Massie has the requisite combination of upside and realized skill to do that. It's worth pondering, at least.

What do you think of Massie and left tackle in general?

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