Atlanta Falcons: Washington’s Chris Chester could be a fit at left guard

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Sep 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins guard Chris Chester (66) blocks Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

What could Chester bring to the Falcons?

Chester (6’4, 305) had an impressive performance at the NFL Combine, running the fastest 40-time among all offensive linemen with a 4.83. He also had a great 10-yard split (1.68) and a solid 3-cone (7.33). Essentially, he proved that he is an ideal fit for a zone blocking scheme.

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He had an interesting and versatile career with the Ravens, with starts at RG, LG, C, and TE. All in all, he made 54 total starts for the Ravens from 2006-2010. Chester had his best season with the Ravens in 2010, where he posted a +11.8 rating according to Pro Football Focus. That included a +0.6 pass block rating, a +2.5 screen block rating, and a +6.9 run block rating.

In 2011, Chester joined the Washington Redskins and played under Kyle Shanahan, who is the new offensive coordinator for the Falcons. He has started every game at RG since joining the team, showcasing his durability.

His performances in Washington seemed to depend upon his supporting cast. In 2011, with Donovan McNabb as QB and a constantly changing offensive line (he was the only player to play in all 16 games at the same position), he struggled in run blocking (-15.4) but held his own in pass blocking (+1.0, allowing only one sack).

Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins guard Chris Chester (66) prepares to block against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012, with Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris behind him, he posted his best season to date with a +17.1 overall rating. His run blocking and pass blocking were both excellent (+8.8), and he allowed only one sack once again. He had a slightly below average year in 2013, with RG3 injured and the team engulfed in drama, posting a negative pass blocking grade (-9.8) but a solid run blocking grade (+3.7).

2014 saw Washington fire the Shanahans and change to a more power-based blocking scheme under new coach Jay Gruden. Chester had a slightly above average year on a team that was pretty poor overall, managing to post a +1.5 overall grade. His pass blocking was good (+6.4) but he struggled in run blocking (-4.9) in the new scheme.

Now 32, somewhat expensive and a poor scheme fit, the Redskins decided to move on from Chester. He’s certainly not the best guard in the league, but there are reasons to believe he could be a capable starting guard for the Falcons.

Next: Is Chester a fit for the Falcons?