ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure spoke with Pat Hill, the Falcons' offensive line coach, about offensive tackle Ryan Schraeder, and Hill had some interesting things to say about Schraeder and the role he may play in the offense going forward.
Schraeder is a rookie free agent out of Valdosta State, and he's not your typical rookie. Schraeder never played football in high school--he was just 5'7" as a junior, a far cry from his height today of 6'7". He didn't attend college full-time immediately after high school, opting instead to work full-time and attend classes part-time. Schraeder decided to enroll at Kansas State a couple of years after his graduation from high school, where he was encouraged to play football. Schraeder spent two years, including one red shirt year, at Butler Community College in Kansas, and then transferred to Valdosta State. Schraeder was an All-American at both Butler and Valdosta State.
Pat Hill scouted Schraeder by coincidence more than anything. He was watching Valdosta State to see Schraeder's former teammate Edmund Kugbila, who is now with the Panthers. At the time, the Falcons weren't in the market for a tackle, with Sam Baker set at left tackle, and Mike Johnson and Lamar Holmes planning to battle for the starting right tackle spot. Now that the Falcons find themselves with Sam Baker and Mike Johnson on injured reserve, Lamar Holmes at left tackle, and right tackle pretty up in the air, their situation at tackle has changed.
Hill likes Schraeder's attitude, and the fact that he has a little bit of a mean streak. Hill likes Schraeder's versatility, also, noting that Schraeder has also served as an extra tight end in max protect situations, and that he's capable of playing right or left guard, also. The idea of Schraeder at guard is interesting, considering that Garrett Reynolds and Peter Konz have been trading off at that position over the past couple of weeks with limited success from either.
Hill does not expect for Schraeder to start on Sunday against the Packers, but he does expect him to get extensive playing time this week. Do you think some of that playing time could come at right guard? Discuss!