We know, to a certain degree, that the Falcons are investing in the trenches. Unless Atlanta winds up really hating this draft class, though, it looks like the offensive line will be their #1 area of investment, as they’ve been linked to or at least meeting with gobs of guards and carts full of centers since the East-West Shrine game.
That trend has continued at the Combine, where all reports from Indianapolis on Thursday linked the Falcons to offensive linemen. That wasn’t particularly surprising given the day—those guys were crawling all over the place—but it’s noteworthy that there’s a huge reported list of offensive linemen the Falcons have at least taken a look at compared to every other position here as the draft inches closer.
Oklahoma tackle Cody Ford has met with the #Falcons and said left tackle Jake Matthews was a player he watched a lot of while in high school.— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) February 28, 2019
Alabama G/C Ross Pierschbacher said he has met with the Falcons already. Alabama State OT Tytus Howard said one of his 10 formal meetings tonight will be the Falcons.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) February 28, 2019
This is no accident. The Falcons are absolutely locked and loaded at one position over the next few years, and that’s left tackle with Jake Matthews. They have tons of question marks at guard, Alex Mack is getting older at center, and Ty Sambrailo is likely a temporary salve at right tackle. They got here by largely electing not to draft offensive linemen, and all signs point to them taking some steps to remedy that with nine draft selections this year.
That would be a welcome development. The Falcons may be able to snag an immediate starter at guard as late as the second day of this draft, and they can get developmental players worth considering as late as the third day on the interior and at tackle. It’s going to be necessary to do so in the coming years as expenses pile up and current players age and/or fall off, and with nine selections and a laundry list of players they’re kicking the tires on, this might be the ideal year to try to pull a bunch of those together.