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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Thursday, May 23

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Oh god injuries already.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Voluntary OTAs continue, and we’ve got some bad news on that front. We’ll get that out of the way first and round out today’s Falcoholinks with some top-notch scouting. Read on for Thursday’s edition.

Steven Means out for the year

A few days into OTAs and we already have news on the injury front. This one is especially devastating, as defensive end Steven Means has torn his Achilles and will miss the 2019 season. Absolutely brutal.

Means was brought in early last year and did an admirable job in the defensive line rotation. Due to his good work in that role he was brought back on a one-year deal, but will not see the field again this season. We obviously wish Steven Means all the best in his recovery.

Big picture-wise, this is an early blow to Atlanta’s depth at the DE position, and could portend a future move in the wake of Means’s injury.

Reinforcing the line

We were all fairly convinced that the Falcons’ first selection in the 2019 NFL Draft would address the defensive line, but as is their modus operandi, they tossed us a curveball and made offensive guard Chris Lindstrom the 14th pick overall. It’s a move we’ve certainly warmed up to, and we now know that GM Thomas Dimitroff assured owner Arthur Blank that he’d make fixing the OL a priority in the draft.

It’s only common sense that once you’ve invested a boatload of cash in your franchise quarterback, it’s best to keep him upright.

Lindstrom figures to slot in at right guard to start the season, a position where the production has been pretty poor for a decade.

The Falcons added linemen Jamon Brown, James Carpenter, Adam Gettis, and John Wetzel in the free agency period, and traded back into the first round of the draft to select offensive tackle Kaleb McGary. The moves brought tangible truth to Dan Quinn’s vocal desire to overhaul the offensive line, and for what it’s worth, former Falcoholic and current SB Nation writer Charles McDonald cites the Falcons’ OL as the most improved unit in the division.

Volunteer inactivity

The Atlanta Falcons began voluntary OTAs this week, and notably absent were wide receiver Julio Jones and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Again: We stress that OTAs are entirely voluntary, so no DEFCON level should be raised at this point.

Both Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett are vying for new contracts, the latter already poised to play on the franchise tag for the 2019 NFL season.

Strengths and weaknesses

The Falcons welcomed seven rookies into the fold at the 2019 NFL Draft, and Falcoholic analyst Eric Robinson is out with a must-read column evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each player. Seriously: Blow off work for a bit and give this one a read or two.