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2016 NFL Draft: With Chris Chester re-signed, Falcons will target projects at guard

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The Falcons are "loaded" at guard, at least for this year.

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The Falcons brought back Chris Chester yesterday, and what already looked like a muddy situation at guard got a little more muddled.

On the plus side, Chester is pretty durable and steady, even if he committed too many penalties in 2015 and isn't more than an average starting guide. On the downside, he and Andy Levitre were merely average (or worse) in 2015, and they're now both likely to return as starters for this year. The team's depth options, which include Mike Person, James Stone, and perhaps Tom Compton, aren't very inspiring either.

What this signing tells us, just a week before the draft, is that the Falcons are not planning on taking an immediate starter at guard, which certainly clarifies their plans. They still desperately need a young, long-term option at one of these guard spots, but they can now afford to roll the dice on a high-upside player in the third round or later that can sit and marinate for at least one year. Considering the immediate, urgent needs at positions like linebacker and safety, it's probably a smart way to handle the need at guard.

Of course, the potential drawback here is that you're pairing three borderline dominant offensive linemen with some shaky guard options, which is a risk that becomes a concern if there's any injuries along the front, and there simply isn't much upside with the likes of Chester and Levitre at this point. The Falcons will be banking on improved guard play thanks to better center play, and they'll hope whoever they land in the draft will be able to step in and replace one of those guys a year or two down the line.

Who's your choice?