Atlanta Falcons Draft Spotlight: T/G Jake Fisher
During the offseason, two big moves were made that affected the Atlanta Falcons offensive line: the release of longtime guard Justin Blalock and the hiring of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Last season however, the Falcons offensive line was in shambles pretty much the entire year.
Sam Baker went down with a knee injury, Jake Matthews developed a foot injury, Joe Hawley had ACL troubles and on and on. Not to mention, take a guess at who was 24th in rushing yards per game last year.
“His skillset also possesses the ability to finish blocks in the zone scheme. Music to Shanahan’s ears.”
A healthy and more developed line can simply keep Matt Ryan off his back and open up holes for running backs Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith as well as a probable draft pick. With Kyle Shanahan in the fold, his zone blocking scheme calls for athletic lineman who can move, pull, and get to the second level.
Today’s draft spotlight will highlight a former Oregon Duck with all of those skills that Shanahan covets.
Jake Fisher Draft Profile
Weight: 306 pounds
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Fisher comes from an Oregon system that implemented zone techniques so the transition would be fairly easy. With 10 3/8 inch hands, Fisher contains the ability to use those strong hands and attach himself on opponents.
Fisher also brings quickness to block the initial defender then move to the second level. Fisher brings a blue collar style similar to former college teammate Kyle Long. His skillset also possesses the ability to finish blocks in the zone scheme. Music to Shanahan’s ears.
Penalties are ugly. However Fisher is strapped with them. I like his height although his frame can use a little added weight. The frame leaves him vulnerable to get overpowered.
At times, his footwork can get inconsistent. In the ZBS, his footwork needs to be one of his best attributes. His best position is probably guard, so he may need to be less of a technician and more of a savage especially because of the big defensive tackles he will be facing.
Because of his quickness, Fisher is a really good fit in the zone blocking scheme. His flaws are fixable. He can and will get stronger, the discipline from his teammates and coaching staff will cut down on his penalties, and pulling in the ZBS will make Freeman and Smith happy.
Fisher is a possible first rounder but that’s only a possible. I see him more as a definite second round guy. With Fisher lined up next to Matthews and a healthy Joe Hawley, life for Matt Ryan and his backfield mates will get better.
Next: Blogging Dirty Writers Mock Draft: Round 7