Let's get this out of the way right now: I like Ryan Schraeder. With the exception of a couple of duds, he's played very well at right tackle when he's been pressed into duty there, and he'll head into 2015 as the presumptive starter at the position.
Like most NFL players, however, his future is a bit uncertain, and he plays a position that hasn't exactly been a stable one for these Falcons in recent years. Schraeder could lock himself in as the long-term solution at right tackle with a fine year in 2015, or he could be facing competition from a draft pick in the very near future. After the Falcons didn't land Isaiah Battle in the supplemental draft on Thursday, though, his starting job is all but a given this season.
Right now, Lamar Holmes is his only legitimate competition for the job, and with the injury he suffered in minicamp, his chances of being ready to start at right tackle for the next season are slim, at best. Tyler Polumbus is a veteran who really has no business starting unless there's injuries in front of him. If there's going to be long-term competition, it'll come in next year's draft.
So this is a prime opportunity for Schraeder. Look for the durable tackle to play the entire season at right tackle if he's lucky/good enough to stay healthy all year, and if he plays, I suspect he'll do enough to keep the job for a while. Ultimately, my hope is that Schraeder runs away with the job, rendering this discussion moot and potentially giving the Falcons a pair of young, talented bookend tackles for the first time in many moons.
What are your expectations?