2016: Started 5 games at right guard and 1 game at right tackle
2015: Started 13 games at right guard
2014: Started 12 games at right guard
2013: Redshirted due to Lisfranc injury in foot
2012: Started 12 games at right guard
While Chris Chester has played like an NFL average starter, the Falcons could upgrade on the 34-year old Chester with someone who’s a bit bigger, stronger and younger. Chester has also been performing at a below-average rate as a pass protector, and adding someone who can give Matt Ryan even more time to get the ball to his receivers down the field would be a wise move to make. The Falcons need someone to add youth to a position that has been playing end-of-run NFL starters since 2013 in Justin Blalock and the aforementioned Chester that could also add some bulk in the middle of the line.
Indiana offensive guard Dan Feeney would be an ideal fit for the Falcons up front. At 6’4″ and 310 pounds, he would give the Falcons more size on the interior to deal with the pass rush while also adding bulk to open holes in power situations. Outside of suffering a foot injury during his true sophomore season, Feeney has been a reliable player who has started every single game for the Hoosiers at right guard. In their zone and gap-based scheme, he’s shown the ability to open up holes for his running backs and allowed just one sack during his first three seasons in Bloomington and has continued the performance through 2016.
The Falcons could slot him right in as the right guard between Alex Mack and a hopefully, newly-resigned Ryan Schraeder during the offseason. Add in Jake Matthews on the other side at left tackle, and the Falcons really just have one hole to fill long-term at left guard with Andy Levitre looking at his make-or-break year in his contract in 2017. Feeney would be able to slot right in and improve the Falcons offensive line for the long-term. Protecting Ryan should be a priority, and the only way to do that is to add more talent up front.