Now that free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft draft are (mostly) behind us, it’s time to take a closer look at the Atlanta Falcons’ roster heading in to the summer. Outside of a few additions and subtractions here and there in the course of training camp and the preseason, this is the roster Atlanta will be working with during the 2022 season.
We’ll kick things off with a look at the projected starters and players competing for those spots. Next up is the offensive line. Arguably the weakest unit on the roster in 2021, the Falcons have left the starting group intact and made very few impact additions. Two signings came at tackle in Germain Ifedi and Elijah Wilkinson, along with a sixth-round rookie guard in Justin Shaffer.
Next up is fourth-year right guard Chris Lindstrom.
G Chris Lindstrom
Contract: $4.68M cap hit in 2022, fifth-year option in 2023
Career Production: 38 games played, 38 games started | 2,465 snaps, 4 penalties, 4 sacks allowed
2021 Production: 17 games played, 17 games started | 1,034 snaps played, 2 penalties, 0 sacks allowed | 83.7 overall PFF grade
Previous Teams: Drafted in the 1st Round (14th overall) by the Atlanta Falcons (2019-present)
We spent each of the last two days talking about young starters who need to improve in 2022, but today’s player is already among the best at his position in the NFL. Chris Lindstrom joined the Falcons as the team’s top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and was expected to immediately take control of the starting right guard job. An injury in training camp limited him to just 5 games that season, but the immediate flashes were impressive. Lindstrom returned to the field for the entirety of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and has since cemented himself as arguably the best offensive lineman on the Falcons.
Lindstrom’s 2020 season was above-average, but he reached a whole new level in 2021, culminating in an career high 83.7 overall PFF grade (very good starter). He allowed zero sacks and committed just two penalties on over 1,000 snaps. Lindstrom is the complete package: a high-level pass protector and impact run blocker who can thrive in any scheme due to his elite athleticism and quality play strength. A recent PFF article named him a top-7 guard in the NFL, and there’s a decent chance he could continue to grow.
The Falcons picked up Lindstrom’s fifth-year option, guaranteeing him $13.2M in 2023, and he’s still just 25 years old. In a sea of misses for former GM Thomas Dimitroff, Lindstrom stands out—alongside Jake Matthews—as a clear hit. While this offensive line possesses significant question marks elsewhere, Chris Lindstrom is a high-end stalwart at right guard for Atlanta to build around long-term.
Projection: Chris Lindstrom is Atlanta’s best offensive lineman and will be the unquestioned starter at right guard in 2022. He’s among the NFL’s best young linemen, and at just 25 years old, Lindstrom is entering his prime.