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Atlanta Falcons 2017 roster review: Tackles

Fact: Jake Matthews never claps his hands, even when he’s happy, and even when he knows it

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons scouts have apparently been eyeing offensive linemen as they prepare for the NFL draft. We’re hearing they’re focused on improving at guard. (Although I have a hard time believing significant changes are on the horizon.) But overall the team seems satisfied with their tackles, which is a positive heading into the offseason. Let’s break down how the Falcons tackles fared in 2017.

Jake Matthews

Matthews struggled at times in 2017 but earned a grade of 80.8 from Pro Football Focus (14th among tackles). That makes him “above average,” according to their metrics. He showcased his potential as an unstoppable run blocker. Matthews did better than most of the offensive line facing Aaron Donald in the wild card game. (He only let Donald beat him once, as did Alex Mack.) During the regular season, he was only penalized four times and only gave up four sacks. Matthews gets a lot of grief from the fanbase, and it’s hard to diagnose. He’s set to receive a substantial raise in 2018 (from a $5.2 million cap hit to a $12.5 million cap hit), the last year of his current contract.

Ryan Schraeder

Schraeder earned a grade of 77.5 from Pro Football Focus (29th among tackles). That makes him “average,” according to their metrics. Schraeder had to play alongside Wes Schweitzer all season, and I’m sure that affected his play at times. He also suffered a concussion when the Falcons faced the Green Bay Packers. He’s under contract for another four seasons.

Everyone Else

Ty Sambrailo earned a grade of 46.4 from Pro Football Focus. (No ranking because he didn’t play enough.) By their metrics, he was “below average.” Austin Pasztor was signed in August and only played in 7 games.

There you have it, Falcoholics. Other than Matthews next contract and the absence of a reliable swing tackle, there’s not a lot to worry about at the tackle position. Your thoughts?