After Wes Schweitzer got destroyed by Akiem Hicks in the first week of the season, many fans wrote him off immediately. I maintain, as always do, that a week, a month, and even a year typically isn’t enough time to properly judge a struggling young player, and so I once again urged caution with Schweitzer. If he didn’t make it to the halfway mark of the season without struggling, I felt like the team might take a harder look at him, but we were many weeks away.
He had his hiccups in Weeks 2 and 3, but now Schweitzer is playing some excellent football, and it’s starting to draw the notice it deserves.
#Falcons RG Wes Schweitzer has graded above 80 and in the top 10 among guards in back to back games.— PFF ATL Falcons (@PFF_Atlanta) October 17, 2017
If you’re a little skeptical of this praise, I get it, because offensive line play is notoriously difficult to judge unless you know individual responsibilities. But Schweitzer has passed the eye test for a few weeks now, and while Jake Matthews has struggled with speed rushers and Andy Levitre has gotten eaten up a handful of times on the interior, Schweitzer has now handled quality Bills and Dolphins defensive tackles in consecutive weeks. I said that we’d have to power up the hype train if he handled Ndamukong Suh, and he mostly did. The team now has their right guard of the present and future, and if Schweitzer can keep this up, I doubt you’ll hear anyone even whispering about the prospect of him being replaced again.
The Falcons continue to show themselves to be shrewd judges of talent, with Steve Sarkisian’s early struggles and the defense’s unforced errors obscuring just how good this team can be. In Schweitzer, they may have found their right guard for the next five-to-ten years in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, and that’s something worth celebrating in what has been a frustrating season.