With the 114th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons held true to their commitment to building depth in the trenches by picking Drew Dalman, Center out of Stanford. Dalman is the son of former NFL Center and OL coach Chris Dalman, who also coached for the Atlanta Falcons in 2005-2006.
In his redshirt sophomore season, Dalman played in seven games and started in four games, with two games at center and two at guard. He then started all 12 games his junior season at center, where he earned the honors of All Pac-12 second team. In his senior year, Dalman started all six games for the Cardinals, where he earned All Pac-12 first team honors and was a team captain.
Here’s my evaluation of Drew Dalman and his potential fit on the Falcons offense.
Drew Dalman scouting report
Player Height/Weight: 6’3” – 299 lbs
Games Watched: vs. Northwestern (2019), vs. Cal (2020), Vs. Washington (2020)
- Above average athleticism and explosive off of the snap
- Shows good balance and a solid base going to the 2nd level
- Clear understanding of leverage and plays with great pad level
- Plays with good hand placement and once latched on, is difficult to shed
- Shows good lateral ability
- Great football IQ and plays with toughness
- Understands and uses proper positioning when walling off defenders
- Keeps feet moving when driving through blocks
- Always looks for work along the OL
- Lacks ideal size and gets bullied by bigger defensive linemen
- Inconsistent when regards to finishing blocks
- Longer defenders will take him for a ride if he isn’t first to the punch
- Will have to get stronger at the point of attack
How he fits with the Falcons
Well, if Falcons fans were wondering if current C Matt Hennessy had a clear path to the starting position, then here’s your answer. It was certainly a good idea by the Falcons in the 4th round to increase OL depth and drive competition on the interior.
Drew Dalman is a quick-footed and tough technician who is ideal for the zone blocking scheme that Coach Smith utilizes. He’s very good when on the move and shows a clear understanding and anticipation of twists, stunts and blitzes.
My main concern in regards to Dalman is his size and functional strength, as he will be going against the likes of Derrick Brown and Vita Vea in the NFC South, among others. His size also really hinders him from a versatility standpoint, even though he did have some starts at guard at Stanford and the team has said he might be involved in the left guard battle.
He will certainly need to get stronger at the point of attack at the next level, but it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility that Dalman takes the starting role at center this season, as he’s one of those players I can see being a reliable and tough starter for years to come. Clearly the Falcons are high on his potential.