2023 Atlanta Falcons Round 2 NFL Draft Pick: Get to Know Offensive Guard Matthew Bergeron
The Atlanta Falcons selected Matthew Bergeron at No. 38 overall in the second round after trading up for him. They picked him to play guard for them in 2023 and beyond. Bergeron is a very good all-around blocker with a skew toward better pass-blocking skills. He has tackle size and athleticism and even played tackle all throughout college. However, the French-Canadian will end up playing inside at left guard for the Falcons and should be a pretty good one.
Athletic Comparison and Numbers
Stats and Awards
2022: 11 Games Started at left tackle, 80.8 PFF Pass Block Grade, 69.0 PFF Run Block Grade, Second-Team All-ACC
2021: 12 Games Started at left tackle, 85.4 PFF Pass Block Grade, 72.6 PFF Run Block Grade, All-ACC Honorable Mention
2020: 8 Games Started at left tackle, 3 games started at right tackle, 61.8 PFF Pass Block Grade, 54.1 PFF Run Block Grade
2019: 5 Games Started at right tackle, 5 Games Played at left tackle, 58.1 PFF Pass Block Grade, 67.2 PFF Run Block Grade,
Matthew Bergeron is one of the best pass blockers in the NFL draft. He has great body positioning and has experience on both sides of the offensive line at tackle. Bergeron understands how to keep his body square both in the run and pass blocking and has great technique for the most part. He gets good depth when he gets up to the second level of the defense and can take out tackles extremely well. He has all the athleticism a player would need to play guard or tackle as well.
As he's blocking guys, he continues to stay square and has a strong anchor when he's locked up. He has long arms for the guard position and has shown that he can crush undersized players when he wants to. He looks for work and is a highly competitive player. Atlanta will benefit quickly from having someone on the line with his high football intelligence and understanding of schemes. Bergeron is a right-place, right-time kind of blocker who should be able to win the starting left guard job.
The former Syracuse Orangeman has some issues with his hands in pass protection, as it could cause him to get penalized more often than not. Bergeron has trouble with power at times and needs to stay more centered when he is punching. He gets over his skis as a run blocker and should focus on getting better when it comes to making those second-level blocks. The Falcons will have to protect him from doing too much man and/or gap schemes.
Intangibles & Off-Field Red Flags
Matthew Bergeron is the kind of player that Terry Fontenot has been searching for while he's been with the Falcons. He's a team captain from Syracuse who has been a leader in the weight room and is one of the smarter players in the draft. Bergeron played Canadian football in high school and needed to make that transition to the American style in college. He's also a fierce competitor snap-to-snap, and it shows in his play. In his own words:
" I’m a quick learner. I’m always eager to learn because I’m a competitor. Ever since I stepped foot on campus at Syracuse, even though I was Canadian and had a different background in football with the Canadian Football League (CFL), it just showed how quickly I picked up the game and our scheme at Syracuse. I think it said a lot about my ability to learn on the fly."- Matthew Bergeron on transition to NCAA
Bergeron was quoted by The Draft Network's Justin Melo in this exceptional interview before the Senior Bowl.
NFL Stylistic Comparison: Tyler Smith
How does he fit in with the Atlanta Falcons
Matthew Bergeron is easily going to be in the mix to start at left guard for the Falcons in 2023. He's arguably the best-left guard on the roster. Atlanta needed someone who could be a long-term solution at left guard after having Jalen Mayfield bust on them and trotting out four different starters at the position in 2022. Getting some stability at all five offensive line spots should really help the offense take the next step in 2023.
Why Matt Bergeron instead of Adetomiwa Adebawore, Brian Branch, Cody Mauch or O'Cyrus Torrence?
The Falcons are going to go with drafting really good pass blockers who have great athleticism and the ability to learn how to run block for their offensive line picks. Matthew Bergeron fits that much better than Cody Mauch or O'Cyrus Torrence. He's more athletic than both and he's already a competent or better pass blocker by NFL standards as a left tackle. Moving that to left guard makes him more valuable than either.
Adetomiwa Adebawore would have been a great pick, but he was still available near the top of the third round. The Falcons could have also looked into Brian Branch, but it looks like they feel Mike Hughes is going to be their nickel at this time unless they want to go with Dee Alford, Jaylinn Hawkins, or even Darren Hall. There's a lot of investment in safety already and trading up for one didn't make sense for the Falcons.
All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats.All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of DraftScout.com and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.