The Atlanta Falcons did their best to fill a pressing need by signing free agent offensive guard Brandon Fusco earlier this month. It’s the only major move the Falcons made in free agency, a fact that’s earned them a fair amount of criticism in some circles.
Fusco was not a splash free agent. That didn’t stop the Falcons from zeroing in on him and making a competitive pitch. Their pitch worked and now he’s in line to start at right guard next season. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus published a “1 stat to know” piece about each NFL team’s top free agent signing yesterday. Here’s what they had to say about Fusco:
Fusco played a grand total of 1,083 snaps throughout the 2017 season, the third-most among guards last year. The veteran guard graded out best in pass-protection, where he allowed 29 pressures from his 654 pass-blocking snaps, for a pass-blocking efficiency of 96.5 – the 32nd-best mark among 61 qualifying guards.
Fusco will apparently “compete” with Wes Schweitzer to start at right guard. That may be more lip service by head coach Dan Quinn than anything. We’ve heard the Falcons repeatedly support Schweitzer before, notwithstanding his shortcomings. But as PFF points out, Fusco was basically an average pas blocker last season, and last I checked, average is definitely better than below average. He can hold his own, and that’s all the Falcons really need from him.