The Atlanta Falcons have signed guard Chris Chester, who was recently cut by the Washington Redskins. Recently, our own Kevin Knight wrote an article about what Chester could bring to the Falcons, you can read that here.
Chester went to the top of the wish list for many Falcons fans when the Redskins cut him. He was no longer a fit in the nation’s capital, schematically, so Washington opted to release him and save the money left on his contract.
The Falcons won’t have to worry about scheme fit, however, as Chester was a part of new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme for three years. It is expected that Chester will be Atlanta’s new starter at left guard. Before this, LG was the sole position in the offensive line left to fill, following Justin Blalock‘s release a couple of months ago.
According to Pro Football Focus, Chester is a plus starter (a plus-1.5 rating overall last year) who struggles in run blocking (minus-4.9) but excels in pass blocking (plus-6.4), meaning that he should play a part in keeping Matt Ryan upright next season.
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Chester has also started every game over the past four seasons for the Redskins, so durability shouldn’t be an issue. This is good to know, for a team who lost four offensive lineman to season ending injury before the halfway mark last season.
The projected starters for Atlanta’s offensive line are Jake Matthews (LT), Chris Chester (LG), Joe Hawley (C), Jon Asamoah (RG), and Ryan Schraeder (RT); with Sam Baker, Peter Konz, Lamar Holmes, James Stone, and others serving as important depth.