Mid-Season Falcons Grades – The Offensive Line


As the Falcons are on a bye this week, it seems like a good time to analyse how our Falcons have played so far this year. We will be going unit by unit on the team over the next week or so. Now is the turn of the Falcons much maligned Offensive Line.

  • LT Sam Baker (C) – If this had been done a few weeks ago, Baker would have received an F! However in the past few weeks he has got his play back to a decent level, not great by any stretch, but at least he isn’t letting Ryan get hit as much.
  • LG Justin Blalock (B) – Blalock has been the Falcons best O-Lineman in pass protection so far this year. He has been OK in the run, but has not been too consistent in creating holes on the left side of the line. Blalock is at his best on the pull block, one play that sticks in my mind was a long run by Michael Turner against the Eagles, where the hole was made by JB.
  • C Todd McClure (B-) – Despite initially struggling after returning from a preseason injury, he has become a calming influence for this O-Line and resumed the leadership role. The O-Line work together as a group best, when McClure is in the lineup.
  • RG Garrett Reynolds (C) – In his first year starting, Reynolds has had his ups and downs. His size at times can be a disadvantage, conceding leverage to smaller DT’s in pass protection. On the whole, not a bad start, but there is plenty of room for improvement.
  • RT Tyson Clabo (D) – Clabo has been the biggest disappointment on the O-Line this season. His pass protection has been very poor at times, where his Achilles heel is speed rushers. Jason Babin of the Eagles, in particular dominated him for the whole game.
  • C/G Joe Hawley (C+) – Hawley has done a nice job in relief in some games this season. While he isn’t as good a leader as McClure, he has better athletic ability and should be a nice full time replacement for McClure, down the line.
  • T Will Svitek (B-) – I was very impressed by how well Svitek played against the Lions last week. He showed physicality in both phases and did not concede a single sack. He has also contributed as a TE in goal line and run heavy sets, where he has also done a nice job.

Tomorrow I will be grading the QBs and Running Backs.