A Bird's-Eye View Of New Falcons: Phillipkeith Manley

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA - MAY 12: Peter Konz #66 drills with Phillipkeith Manley #68 of the Atlanta Falcons during the rookie minicamp at the Atlanta Falcons Training Facility on May 12, 2012 in Flowery Branch, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Besides the fact that he has one of the world's great names, Phillipkeith Manley also plays on the offensive line. Who knew?

Manley was the single biggest surprise survivor of the final roster cuts, and I was blown away from Robert McClain. He simply slid under my radar as an offensive lineman playing mostly with the backups. While I was watching closely to see how guys like Lamar Holmes and Mike Johnson fared, Manley quietly played well and impressed the coaching staff. With a lot of question marks around the unit, talent has to win, and evidently the Falcons believe it did.

So what does Manley bring to the table? Versatility, for one thing. The Falcons have talked about using the 6'5", 309 products as a backup at multiple line spots, but he'd be particularly useful at the uncertain guard position. He certainly has the size to play inside and has pretty decent footwork. That was enough to win him a spot, and certainly there's enough potential in a 22-year-old lineman with those attributes that you can see why the Falcons took a shine to him.

What Manley needs more of, primarily, is strength. His plodding speed makes little difference—he is a 300-plus pound lineman—but he'll need to focus on building up enough power to push back against some of the NFL's mighty defensive tackles if he's going to play either guard spot.

If Manley survives any Falcons signings and releases before the Chiefs game, he'll probably be a gameday inactive for most of the season. There's definitely a little upside here, though.

What are your thoughts on Manley?

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