Atlanta comes into the 2018 season with three true guards on the roster. Ben Garland is a free agent, so that leaves Andy Levitre, Wes Schweitzer, and Sean Harlow duking it out over three spots. If the Falcons stand pat, that is, and they probably won’t.
That’s because Atlanta’s showing early interest in guards. Yesterday Charles McDonald noted the Falcons appeared to be paying attention to Georgia tackle Isaiah Wynn, who is widely expected to kick inside, and it was noted late last night that a Falcons scout was showing particular interest in Colby Gossett, a guard from Appalachian State.
Gossett is a big fellow (6’6”, 311), a graduating senior, and a quality athlete who has four starting seasons under his belt at guard and fared well in both pass protection and as a run blocker. He’s not playing for a little anonymous program, either, as Appalachian State has been one of the titans of the FBS for a long time. Gossett checks all the boxes for Atlanta (senior, scheme fit, extensive starting experience), so it’s little surprise they’re interested.
The big question is where he’ll be drafted. Right now, the sweet spot for Gossett seems like it’ll be late on Day 2 or early on Day 3, putting him in the 3rd-4th round range if Atlanta wants him.
Atlanta Falcons scout having long conversation with Appalachian State OG Colby Gossett. #SeniorBowl— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) January 24, 2018
The big question looming over any draft pick is where they’ll play, of course. The Falcons could simply try to shore up their depth after leaving Harlow inactive all year, or they could actively try to replace one of their starting guards. Levitre is getting older, remains expensive, and is coming off a triceps injury that ended his 2017 season, while Schweitzer cashed in an uninspiring but mostly solid 18 start season. A Day 1 or even Day 2 guard could conceivably start for either one, depending on which one the Falcons need to move on from more urgently. I’d have to think Gossett would be in contention for a starting job day one, as would Wynn.
With the top three tackles on the roster more or less set at the moment, in-house guard depth to draw on, and Alex Mack at center, the only remaining hole on the offensive line outside of guard would seem to be backup center. We’ll see what the Falcons do to address that by April, too, I’d wager.