Atlanta Falcons: 3 position battles to watch
There are two spots in questions on the offensive line. The left guard and center will both be decided during training camp. Of the two, guard is the more pressing issue. The Atlanta Falcons have two serviceable centers on the roster with Matt Hennessy the incumbent and this year’s fourth-round pick Drew Dalman.
Neither Dalman nor Hennessey are sure things at center but at worst there is a baseline for what Hennessey will provide after limited opportunities last year. Whichever of the two loses the starting center battle should be involved in the left guard competition as well.
The biggest question on this entire roster maybe the left guard position. The Atlanta Falcons have tried to solidify this position for years, with Jamon Brown and James Carpenter signed in free agency for the 2019 season. Unfortunately, neither turned out to be long-term answers as Brown only lasted one season and Carpenter left for free agency this offseason.
Dalman or Hennessey will be competing against a slew of players for the left guard spot. 2021 third-round pick Jaylen Mayfield figures to work out for the spot, even though he spent his entire career at Michigan aligned at tackle. While he did switch sides in college he has never played on the inside.
With the draft capital spent on Mayfield, the expectation should be for him to compete immediately but he has his work cut out for him. With Matt Gono returning and recently signed veteran, Josh Andrews expected to be in the mix. If the coaching staff want to a look at Mayfield as a tackle there is also a chance that he and Kaleb McGary will compete for the right tackle spot with the loser of that position also included in the battle at guard.
There are only two positions truly locked in with Jake Mathews at left tackle and a Chris Lindstrom at right guard. After that, the Atlanta Falcons have a lot to figure out on this line. Hopefully, whoever they go with will be able to keep Matt Ryan upright and open some running lanes for Mike Davis. If not the offensive improvement Falcons fans are hoping for my be derailed quickly.