The Atlanta Falcons made Brandon Fusco their big, splash signing of the offseason, which was surprising for any number of reasons. It’s easy to forget this now, post Terrell McClain and Ron Parker, but it looked like the Falcons weren’t going to do a whole lot back in March, and they let Dontari Poe, Taylor Gabriel and Adrian Clayborn walk. Fusco seemed like an odd choice to be the first man snapped up, especially with Wes Schweitzer starting 18 games at right guard in 2017.
The signing has made more sense as time goes on, however. Fusco is a better run blocker than Schweitzer, full stop, and provides the Falcons with a tangible upgrade at the weakest position on their offensive line a year ago. It also gives them some of the best guard depth in the NFL, with Ben Garland and Schweitzer both starting-caliber players ready to step in.
Also, Fusco was one of the best 25 guards in the NFL a year ago, and there are 64+ starters every year at the position. That’s also a point in his favor.
New #Falcons guard Brandon Fusco graded as a top 25 guard in both pass blocking and run blocking last year. He'll be wearing number 65 - days until football!— PFF ATL Falcons (@PFF_Falcons) July 3, 2018
If Fusco winds up being an above average starter at right guard, and Andy Levitre is fully healthy, this is one of the best offensive lines in football once again. Fusco’s ability and willingness to block at the second level and to generally pave the way for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman should help this year, and he’s just one more reason to believe this offense will rebound in 2018.
All assuming, of course, that Fusco lives up to both last year’s results and his place as the crown jewel of this free agency class.