2023 NFL Draft Review: Grading the Atlanta Falcons picks with realistic expectations
Round 2: OG Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
As a tackle, Matthew Bergeron led the Syracuse offensive line for the last two seasons. He showed prowess as a pass blocker and potential as a run blocker. Bergeron looks like the best option to start the season at left guard. And while some may not love the idea of moving yet another college tackle to left guard, this one at least has more experience past high school at draft time than Mayfield's 15 games played. He also has much less of an injury history at this point.
By drafting a good athlete who understands and is efficient as a pass blocker, the Falcons should be able to improve their offensive line in that regard. As long as the plan isn't to stick Jalen Mayfield back out there to disastrous results, Atlanta has already improved the position. Bergeron has the ideal mold for a Falcon offensive guard and should be the starter at left guard for the next decade if he ends up being the Rodger Saffold clone that Falcons head coach Arthur Smith is expecting.
Realistic expectations for year 1: 17 games started at left guard. Almost every snap played. 50.0-plus grades in both pass blocking and run blocking from Pro Football Focus.