We’re in the depths of the offseason here at The Falcoholic, and there has been little to nothing in the way of interesting news in ages. So, we’ll have to make some content of our own in the meantime. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be bringing you a new Player Profile series where we’ll take a look at each of the players on Atlanta’s roster. I’ll break down their measurables, past production, and try to project their 2020 season with the Falcons.
We’ll get things started with the projected starters. After taking stock of WR, we now turn our attention to the offensive line. The Falcons have had a lot of turnover up front over the past several years with the addition of four new linemen in 2019: first-round picks Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary, and veteran free agents Jamon Brown and James Carpenter. Meanwhile, All Pro center Alex Mack is nearing retirement, leaving only LT Jake Matthews as a long-term certainty along the OL.
Today we take a closer look at Jamon Brown, a five-year veteran who joined the Falcons in 2019 and had a relatively lackluster season. He is a slight favorite to win the LG job, in my opinion, so he gets the nod as the starter in this series.
LG Jamon Brown
Contract: $6.58M cap hit in 2020, under contract through 2021 ($6.08M APY)
Career Production: 60 games played, 47 games started | 1 fumble recovery | 8 holding penalties, 10 false starts, 21 total penalties | 59.3 overall PFF grade
2019 Production: 10 games played, 9 games started | 1 fumble recovery | 3 holding penalties, 1 false start, 5 total penalties | 53.2 overall PFF grade
Measurables: 5.08 40-yard dash, 1.74 10-yard split | 7.36 3-cone | 28.0” vertical jump, 103” broad jump (numbers from Pro Day)
With the departure of Andy Levitre, Brandon Fusco, and Ryan Schraeder prior to the 2019 season, the Falcons were in desperate need of starters on the offensive line. In an effort to address that issue, Atlanta brought in two veteran guards and drafted two other offensive linemen in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. One of those veterans was Jamon Brown, a college offensive tackle with good size and surprising athleticism who had bounced around the league a bit in 2018.
Brown originally played left tackle in college and began his career with the Rams on the left side, starting in 9 games during his rookie season before ending up on IR with a leg fracture. He switched to right guard for the Rams in 2016, playing in 11 games and starting 6. Brown finally got a chance to be the full-time starter again in 2017, playing and starting in all 16 games for Los Angeles. He achieved one of the highest PFF grades of his career that season, with a 64.5 (average starter).
A substance-abuse suspension just prior to the 2018 season cost Brown the first two games and seemed to put him in the doghouse with the coaching staff. He lost his starting job to Austin Blythe and was waived by the Rams after Week 8. The Giants claimed him off waivers and immediately thrust him into the starting lineup, where he started 8 games at RG over the remainder of the season. Atlanta must’ve liked what they saw from his brief stint in New York, as they signed Brown to a lucrative 3-year deal in the 2019 offseason.
Brown has a unique blend of size and athleticism, particularly for a guard. However, he’s played at his best on the right side, where Atlanta is going to start second-year player Chris Lindstrom. Of the two free agent additions (James Carpenter being the other), Brown had the better 2019 season: his PFF grade was better (53.2 to 45.3), he committed fewer penalties (5 to 7), and gave up fewer sacks (0 to 4). He also has the advantage of age—he’s just 27 years old compared to 31 for Carpenter. I suspect the Falcons want Brown to win the LG job in training camp, but he’ll have to prove he’s better than both James Carpenter and the rookie Matt Hennessy.
Projection: Jamon Brown is the current favorite to win the LG job in training camp, and I expect him to have a better overall season in 2020 than in 2019. Hopefully with a full training camp at LG and more experience in Atlanta’s scheme, Brown can put together a league-average starting season for the Falcons. Between Jake Matthews and Alex Mack on the left side, that should be good enough to keep Ryan upright.