Atlanta Falcons 2021 offseason expectations: O-Line
If the Falcons pass on the big names in free agency, they will be aggressive on draft day.
There are multiple players the Falcons should take a long hard look at in the first round of this upcoming draft.
At pick four Penei Sewell is a common name linked to the Atlanta Falcons. There are plenty of mock drafts out there this time of year and most have either a QB, whether that’s Lance, Fields or Wilson depends on the author’s preference, otherwise it’s Sewell.
If Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith are truly planning on taking the best player available in the draft then Sewell is the logical pick if available. While he played left tackle at Oregon the talent would be hard to pass up.
If this were the selection someone would have to make a position change.
While moving from tackle to guard takes work it’s a common occurrence in the NFL, usually when a player isn’t up to playing the tackle position but sometimes simply because it creates the best combination of players on the field.
Whether Sewell starts his career at guard before eventually taking over at LT or if Mathews kicks inside to let the rookie take over would be decided in camp but either way, the left side of the line would end up stronger than it has been years.
If the Falcons were to move back in the first round two very interesting names become viable. Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera – Tucker.
Slater played left tackle most recently but started his career on the inside at guard. AVT also has experience playing both left tackle and guard but will most naturally be a guard at the next level. Both players have positional versatility which is incredibly valuable.
Unlike with Sewell, there wouldn’t be a competition with Mathews for LT as they would step in and be day one starters at guard.
There are plenty of options on day two of the draft as well.
Wyatt Davis and Landon Dickerson are the two most intriguing options in the second round. Davis played right guard for the Buckeyes so would have to make a move to the other side of Hennessey. Dickerson has experienced several injuries throughout his career but has been a versatile and solid starter when available.
Having played all five positions on the offensive line he offers tremendous versatility. Best suited for the inside he can serve both as starting LG and reserve center in the event of an injury to Matt Hennessey.
The 2021 offensive line will have one new big name
When the season kicks off the left side of the line will have a new name on it as James Carpenter should be a cap causality and be allowed to hit the free agency market.
While the addition of Joe Thuney or Brandon Scherff would be a huge step in solidifying this line it would also severely limit any other moves the Falcons want to make in free agency. While one big move and a lot of smart cost-effective signings can go a long way the limited cap space the Falcons have should be used on the defense.
Ultimately the Atlanta Falcons should spend major draft capital to solidify this line.