If the Atlanta Falcons were targeting their newest guard Chris Lindstrom at pick 14, then they lucked out, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. The draft is a memory and all we have until training camp is draft grades. While some selections may be considered a reach by analysts, we sometimes find out mock drafts overvalued or undervalued players.
Keanu Neal was widely panned as a reach but was reportedly the top pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers a few slots later. He has, of course, turned into a Pro Bowl safety.
The Cincinnati Bengals ended up selecting the first offensive lineman in the 2019 NFL draft, former Alabama tackle Jonah Williams. Per Breer, Williams was not expected to last all the way to 11th overall, with the Bengals looking at other offensive linemen.
Let’s say Williams goes [before the Bengals’ selection]. Then, I’m told, the Bengals would’ve been picking between Oklahoma G Cody Ford and B.C. G Chris Lindstrom.
Without Williams, there’s a good chance Atlanta would have missed out on their chance at Lindstrom, widely considered to be a reach at 14. At the same time, Ford dropped all the way into round 2 suggesting he would have been a reach at 11. Despite plenty of interest in Ford, the Falcons passed over him twice, including selecting tackle Kaleb McGary over Ford.
It is pretty well accepted that Lindstrom was the draft’s top guard. It appears he had a chance to be selected at 11, if not earlier. It is unclear if the Falcons could trade back and still pick up Lindstrom. If the Bengals’ interest is any indication, trading back would have been dangerous.