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Falcons position group reviews: is the offensive line better in 2016?

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Will the big boys be better?

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

2016 Offensive Line Projection

Jake Matthews (Starter)

Andy Levitre (Starter)

Alex Mack (Starter)

Mike Person (Starter)

Ryan Schraeder (Starter)

Chris Chester

Wes Schweitzer

Tom Compton

Bryce Harris

2015 Offensive Line Depth Chart

Jake Matthews (Starter)

Andy Levitre (Starter)

Mike Person (Starter)

Christ Chester (Starter)

Ryan Schraeder (Starter)

Jake Long

James Stone

Gino Gradkowski

Bryce Harris

The clear upgrade here is in the acquisition of All-Pro Center Alex Mack. After watching Mike Person and James Stone (and for a short stint, Gina Gradkowski) all struggle at the center position, the Falcons opted to grab one of the best centers in the league when they signed the multi-time Pro Bowler this off-season. Without a doubt, Mack will be a huge upgrade in the middle of the line. Not only should pass protection improve, but the line calls under a veteran like Mack will be far more reliable as well.

For his struggles at Center, Mike Person did show that he was a very capable run blocker. Assuming he’s not supplanted by a returning - but aging - Chris Chester or rookie draft pick Wes Schweitzer, Chester could be at home at the right guard spot on the line. Andy Levitre should benefit from having a more solid presence next to him on the line, but don’t expect his play to be much different from last year.

On the ends, the Falcons have a nice young pair of tackles in Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder. Matthews looks to build on a solid sophomore season while Schraeder - considered one of the best right tackles in the NFL according to PFF - will start again on the right side.

Is it better?

Of all the position groups the Falcons are trotting out in 2016, the offensive line looks like it may be one of the strongest. The addition of Alex Mack should pay huge dividends while the continued maturation of Matthews and Schraeder gives the team a couple of very good book ends. Levitre will eventually need to be replaced, but should be serviceable for now and Person could do well at right guard, though it’s the most unsettled position at this point.

Without a doubt, this position group looks to be improved from 2015. What are your thoughts on the 2016 offensive line?