The Falcons offensive line needed some serious rework this season. While Alex Mack and Jake Matthews are quality starters, the spots at guard and right tackle have been a big question mark. It looks like Chris Lindstrom has locked down the right guard spot, while James Carpenter and Jamon Brown continue to fight it out at left guard.
At right tackle, though, there are a lot of questions. Ty Sambrailo was getting all of the first team reps, but a disastrous outing against the Jets brought his role as starter into question. First round pick Kaleb McGary is still recovering from his recent heart procedure and will probably not be ready to go for the regular season.
Insert Matt Gono.
The undrafted free agent from last season didn’t play a single snap in 2018. The team clearly thought he was worth a roster spot, even if he wasn’t quite ready to play last year. With both Sambrailo and McGary unable to play on Thursday, Gono was given his chance to start.
While he wasn’t perfect, Gono showed more than enough to be a competent starter at right tackle. In fact, he had several good plays, mixed in with a few expected poor ones. Is he considerably better than Sambrailo? Probably not, but the big difference is Gono has considerable upside. We know who Sambrailo is. Gono may only get better from here.
In my mind, this decision is a relatively easy one: Matt Gono should start at right tackle for the Falcons. Sambrailo was already an uninspiring starter and his preseason has only exacerbated concerns over his performance. While Matt Gono may not be an immediate top-tier starter, he showed enough on Thursday night to get the nod over the under-performing veteran.
Once McGary is back to full health, we should see a competition for this spot once again. For now, though, Matt Gono deserves to be the starter.
What do you think about the situation at right tackle?