Atlanta Falcons: Who is the Answer at Left Guard?

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Nov 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams tackle Mike Person (73) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Person and Jared Smith

The Falcons have added two offensive guards to the roster this offseason in Mike Person and Jared Smith. While neither has started a game in the NFL, both are young players (Person is 26, Smith is 25) with the potential to make a difference for the Falcons.

Person was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft, and has bounced between several teams since then. He’s played in 17 NFL games in his career, 16 of which were during the 2014 season for the St. Louis Rams. He’s not a player likely to inspire a ton of confidence, but Person has NFL experience and will likely compete for a role as a depth player.

Could he start at left guard? Maybe, but it seems unlikely at this point. Still, the Falcons wouldn’t have brought him in if they thought he had nothing to offer. Perhaps he will emerge as a contender for the starting position in training camp.

Smith, on the other hand, was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent his entire college career as a defensive lineman, but Seattle had planned to transition him to the offensive line. Unfortunately, Smith suffered a season-ending injury while on the Seahawks practice squad in 2013 and was waived with an injury settlement in 2014.

This is a player that Dan Quinn had personal experience with, and it seems that he saw something he liked. Smith is listed as an offensive lineman for the Falcons, so the belief is that he will remain there and continue to learn the position. I doubt Smith is in play for the starting left guard role, but he could provide valuable veteran depth to a roster that has long been lacking in that area.

Still, if none of these options truly impress the coaches, could the Falcons look to add their starting LG in the draft?

Next: Draft Prospects