The Atlanta Falcons reported to training camp Tuesday and much is unknown about how the roster will look like the regular season inches closer.
While the majority of Atlanta Falcons starters are known, there is one battle that will last most of training camp and it’s also one of the most important positions on the field – left guard.
This Atlanta Falcons roster leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the offensive line. We assume that left tackle, right guard, and right tackle starters are known with Jake Matthews, Chris Lindstrom, and Kaleb McGary.
We also assume that the center position will be won by second-year player Matt Hennessy, who is going to start his second training camp as the presumed starter. Though rookie Drew Dalman will certainly get a look as this coaching staff is going to want as much competition as possible.
Atlanta Falcons have limited options at left guard
Starting training camp, the Atlanta Falcons have very few options at left guard.
After the injury to Matt Gono, who had really improved a lot over the last couple of years as he bounced back and forth from the Falcons practice squad and active roster, the coaching staff was left with very few options.
Rookie Jalen Mayfield out of Michigan will more than likely get the first nod and it will be his to lose.
At Michigan, he was an all-conference right tackle who was well known for his run blocking ability. He has the mean streak that coaches want upfront and has the type of athleticism that will be a major tool as he makes the transition to the NFL.
Behind Mayfield, the Atlanta Falcons have no depth or experience at guard.
At some point, the coaching staff will probably ask Dalman, Sam Jones, and Josh Andrews to take snaps at left guard as only undrafted rookies Joe Sculthorpe and Ryan Neuzil are natural guards. Offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford recruited Sculthorpe to NC State before leaving to become the offensive coordinator at Louisville, so there is some history there.
While the Atlanta Falcons training camp will have numerous storylines as we work through the next six weeks, the biggest battle will be that at left guard as it’s one of the few spots that is up for grabs.