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Falcons roster battles: It’s Wes Schweitzer versus Ben Garland for right guard

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It’s the heir apparent versus the most versatile man on the offensive line.

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Keizur was the first guy to line up at right guard at Falcons OTAs yesterday. It would be fair to say that we don’t expect that to continue.

A versatile rookie undrafted free agent, Keizur may well have a bright future in this league. He also has an extreme uphill battle to a roster spot, much less a starting job, and Dan Quinn confirmed that when speaking to the media Thursday.

The “right now” modifier is important, as is any qualifier when we’re talking about a position battle. Both options could falter, the team could sign a veteran, or one of the rookies could catch fire and push for the gig. Still, this jibes with what we’ve expected all along, which is that Schweitzer and Garland would push for this job, with one or two other guys mixing in but not seriously contending.

As anticipated, rookie Sean Harlow doesn’t look like a factor in the starting competition today, though he’ll almost certainly get in the mix a year from now if Andy Levitre doesn’t return. Similarly, veteran guard Cornelius Edison looks to be pushing for a reserve role, not a starting gig. Interesting undrafted free agents like Robert Leff and Keizur are just fighting for roster spots, as expected.

Schweitzer is a second year pro who battled Chris Chester last summer, but never got on the field in 2016. Garland did get on the field, but more on defense than offense. Both are strong, durable players, but we really don’t know how good either one is at guard just yet. We’ll know more after we see this battle shake out over the course of the summer.

We’ve still got Schweitzer, but if I’ve learned one thing after watching Ben Garland play defensive tackle a year ago, it’s that you shouldn’t count him out. This should be one of the most interesting battles in camp.