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Atlanta Falcons roster review: the offensive line

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The Falcons have a strong offensive line, but definitely need some new blood.

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
“Are you not entertained?”
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons put together a prolific offense thanks in part to their surprisingly good offensive line. Anchored by four former first-round picks, Atlanta was mostly able to bully other teams at the line of scrimmage.

Lets take a look at where the roster stands heading into free agency.

Tackle

Jake Matthews should have his fifth-year option exercised this offseason, and he’s got two seasons to improve on a good but not great third season. He’s locked up the left tackle spot just like Ryan Schraeder has the right tackle spot. The only backup is swing tackle Tom Compton, an athletic guy who hasn’t been able to block his whole career.

The Falcons should prioritize a better swing tackle who won’t be as big of a liability as Compton.

Guard

Last year, Andy Levitre and Chris Chester held down the guard spots. Chester looked every bit of 34 years old, and Atlanta desperately needs to upgrade the right guard position. Levitre bounced back from an uneven 2015 and was one of the league’s better guards. He should definitely stick for at least a few more years.

Wes Schweitzer was drafted late in last year’s draft, but never earned playing time. Right now he’s an unknown, and might be a risky bet as a starter. I’ve had enough of risky bets on this offensive line, and I expect the team to add a replacement either a few days into free agency or day two of the draft.

Center

There is zero doubt that Alex Mack will continue to be Atlanta’s starting center until the zombie apocalypse. And after that, zombie Alex Mack is probably still a top-five center in the ZFL. Ben Garland is listed as a guard, but he played defensive tackle and was expected to fill in for Mack during the Super Bowl if Mack couldn’t go. This spot is good to go.

Results

The Falcons are in a pretty good place. They could use some depth at tackle, and just need a decent player to plug in between Alex Mack and Ryan Schraeder.