Sean Harlow was supposed to be the future at guard for the Falcons, if not as a starter, then at least as an athletic and talented reserve. That may still come to pass—the Falcons could sneak Harlow onto their practice squad—but the possibility seems remote at best now.
Per D. Orlando Ledbetter at the AJC, Harlow is expected to be among the Falcons’ 37 roster cuts between now and 4 p.m. tomorrow. Harlow had fallen behind 2016 sixth rounder Wes Schweitzer and versatile reserve Ben Garland, to say nothing of starters Andy Levitre and Brandon Fusco, and the Falcons simply didn’t think he was worth keeping around as a fifth guard on the active roster.
Barring a return to the practice squad and 2019 relevance, Harlow will go down as one of the relatively rare whiffs of the Dan Quinn era. As a fourth round pick entering his second season with Atlanta, it’s sort of astounding that the Falcons are washing their hands of him so quickly, even if Harlow has admitted he struggled with the transition to guard. Considering Brian Hill is also gone, Duke Riley has had his scuffles, and Eric Saubert is still a work in progress, 2017 won’t go down as one of the team’s great draft classes unless Takk and Kazee become all-world.
I thought Harlow had a solid summer, based on reports out of camp, but it wasn’t enough to push him onto this roster. It sounds like fellow guard competitor Jamil Douglas won’t make the team, either.
We’ll wish him well, wherever he winds up, and I’m still hopeful he’ll make it to the practice squad and resurface a year from now. Given both the need at guard around the NFL and the team’s willingness to cut ties with him, though, I can’t predict he will with any confidence.