As was announced last week, the team officially has two new, tradable comp picks that it can leverage this spring for new talent. Will they opt to do so?
As far as positions go, guard, offensive tackle, fullback and tight end make the most sense for a move, with the quarterback, running back, center and wide receiver spots already settled or likely to add talent elsewhere.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
G Kelechi Osemele for fourth and sixth rounders
If they opt to let Andy Levitre walk in free agency, the Falcons need a new guard...badly. The team is reportedly not re-signing Ben Garland, and has no major commitment right now to either Brandon Fusco or Wes Schweitzer for the future. So, that might need to be rephrased to “the Falcons need new guards...badly.”
Fusco has a chance at sticking around at right guard after a half-season of decent play, but the team could use at least one upgrade. Why not go get one of the NFL’s best guards on one of its worst teams?
The Raiders are in firm rebuilding mode, but they’ve a Pro Bowl-level talent in Osemele. He’s a mauler and excels in the run and pass game. If the Falcons are serious about returning to the playoffs, getting Osemele in house would be a huge boost. He could, hypothetically, slot in between Jake Matthews and Alex Mack and give the team the strongest link on its offensive line in ages.
Osemele will be 30 when the league year begins, and is only at a cost of $10-11 million a year for the next two seasons. For an elite player at the position, that’s not all that bad.
GM Thomas Dimitroff has punted investment in the interior offensive line over the years, but he’s said in the past the Alex Mack deal and returns have turned his heart on putting money there.
With the potential to patch up other spots on the OL with the draft/in-house options, why not splurge with a player in his prime at a spot you desperately need talent for? Get Osemele here, strike a new deal, and thrive. With Dirk Koetter noncommittal to what blocking scheme he’ll primarily use, having Osemele around would be splendid.
And, for what it’s worth, Dimitroff visited with Oseleme in 2012 in the draft, Koetter’s first season with the team.
G Austin Corbett for a third rounder
The Cleveland Browns have one of the better interior offensive lines in the NFL, with guards Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler both locked up on big contracts for the next few seasons and J.C. Tretter in house for two more as the center.
The Browns curiously added guard Austin Corbett in the 2018 draft, though the team really has no use for him as a starter at the moment. Desmond Harrison and Chris Hubbard are the starters at tackle, making a positional transition all the more unlikely for the Nevada alum.
Younger players being traded tend to be a bit more pricey because of the youth and potential, and it’s not really common to see a guy drafted less than a year ago get moved. But Cleveland is trying to build its roster to contend for the playoffs, and they might be interested in flipping Corbett for a third and adding to other spots.
The Falcons could give Corbett a shot at guard right away and see how he does. Now, investing this high of a pick would mean the team is serious about him, but it’s not necessarily a pick that has to start right away. This would be a fascinating move to add a guy who could be either the right or left guard of the future on a good compensation rate.
It might be worth Atlanta giving GM John Dorsey a call and seeing what he thinks.
FB Patrick DiMarco for a seventh rounder
It was stupid for Atlanta to ever let DiMarco walk, a clear whiff from the front office after his 2017 departure.
The team hasn’t found stability at the position since his departure, and now DiMarco is stuck on a changing Buffalo offense in a league that devalues his position. The Falcons have also de-emphasized the position since Steve Sarkisian took over in 2017, but with Koetter’s return, that may change. Why not make a reunion happen?
DiMarco could probably be had for a seventh-round pick, which would get his contract off Buffalo’s books and give them the chance to add elsewhere.
It just makes too much sense; Atlanta rights an old wrong, and settles the fullback spot for the immediate future with a fan favorite who is also good at his job.
The Chargers haven’t done a ton with guard Forrest Lamp after he missed his 2017 season with an ACL tear and was a reserve guard in 2018. The Falcons could, say, flip a fourth or fifth rounder over to Los Angeles to see if Lamp could thrive with a change of scenery.
Lions reserve OL Joe Dahl could be someone Atlanta throws into a competition for one of the guard spots. PFF gave him a 72.4 grade for his 2018 snaps, though they list him as a tackle. The same goes for Kenny Wiggins, though his PFF grades weren't as high.
So that’s what we’ve got! The options are a bit less plentiful on offense, with OL play across the league not exactly what it should be. When you find a guy, you tend to want to keep him.
You all have any ideas?