The Right Tackle Smackdown: Mike Johnson Or Lamar Holmes?

Kevin C. Cox

Debating the fate of the position.

The other day, I asked how everyone thought the offensive line would shake out. We got plenty of answers, with the majority penciling in Lamar Holmes at right tackle. That's where I stand, too.

John Manasso of FOX Sports South says the competition is likely to come down to Holmes and Mike Johnson, with Joe Hawley or a rookie as outside possibilities. I would suggest that Hawley's best shot would come at right guard or center, and even then I think he's likely to lose out and become the team's top backup.

Johnson versus Holmes could be interesting, however. Holmes is 330 pounds and looks, as torgo3000 put it in another post, like a Coke machine with a head attached to it. While there was considerable debate about whether he should go as early as he ultimately did, the physical tools are all there and he was a nice pass protector in college. Given that he was a third round pick a year ago and Sam Baker will man the left side, Holmes seems like the obvious choice.

Johnson is a little closer to 300 pounds, filling the role of the jumbo tight end a year ago, as Manasso notes. He was a well-regarded mauler in the run game at Alabama, though, and he's had more time in the Falcons' system. Given that Reynolds is the obvious candidate for right guard and Johnson isn't going to be in contention for the center job, his best chance at starting is right tackle. Otherwise, he'll likely go back to being the team's top option at the tackles.

My money's on Holmes. How about you?

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