The Atlanta Falcons have very few questions at the guard position. They don’t have a truly elite player at the position, but they have two capable starters in Andy Levitre and Brandon Fusco, and two starting-caliber backups in Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland. It’s a strong, deep position that means the Falcons can weather struggles or injuries to starters, and that’s a blessing.
So the question is not about starters or even immediate depth. The question is about Sean Harlow.
Harlow, you’ll recall, was the fourth round pick in 2017 for a team loathe to waste draft picks before the late third day. Of the 19 players they had selected before this year’s class, only five are not with the team, and three of those were seventh rounders to begin with. If Harlow doesn’t make this squad, it’ll be something of a departure from the norm, and he’ll be the highest round draft pick not named Jalen Collins to get the axe.
It’s a question of Harlow’s progress and the team’s roster-building priorities, in the end. Harlow was drafted because he has the athleticism to play the interior in this scheme, but if he’s not showing more than he did in a 2017 season where was effectively mothballed all year, he’ll be nothing more than a practice squad candidate for Atlanta. The team would also have to carry 9-10 offensive linemen just to fit Harlow in, which doesn’t feel like a lock with all their depth along the defensive line, at wide receiver, and especially at cornerback.
I do think Harlow will be here one way or another, whether he makes the roster (somewhat unlikely) or hangs on to a practice squad spot. The Falcons are going to potentially be moving on from both Andy Levitre and Ben Garland in 2019, and if Harlow can offer them anything worthwhile, it would be foolish to toss him away. All that remains to be seen is whether the Falcons agree.
Do you think Harlow makes the roster?