There’s no doubt that the Atlanta Falcons would keep Matt Gono in an ideal world. One of the undrafted success stories of the previous regime, Gono has developed into a good swing tackle with the versatility to play inside.
Gono impressed at the right tackle position when Kaleb McGary was out of the lineup with injury. Unfortunately, his lone start at left guard came against Chris Jones and the Kansas City Chiefs defensive line, an intimidating prospect for even the most experienced players.
While Gono struggled in that game, the Falcons saw enough to tender him at the second-round price tag.
The expectation is that Gono battles third-round pick Jalen Mayfield for the starting left guard job, with the loser becoming the team’s primary swing tackle. Mayfield is raw and changing from right tackle to left guard so Gono should have the upper hand but if it’s close then the coaching staff could rule in favor of their guy.
If that happens and Gono isn’t one of the five starters on the offensive line then his contract situation becomes more of a question. He’s due $3.384 million this year.
That’s good value for a young, starting guard and for most teams, it would be an acceptable number for a swing tackle.
The Falcons aren’t most teams, though. If they can find a team willing to send a late-round pick for Gono then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the coaching staff look elsewhere on their roster for depth.