Tim Mazetti

What it will mean for the Falcons if they draft an OT at 14

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https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/4/13/18305055/what-it-will-mean-for-the-falcons-if-they-draft-an-ot-at-14-2019-nfl-draft-cody-ford

 

The Falcons could complete their offensive line makeover, but it’s not without its potential costs.

By Dave Choate Apr 13, 2019, 8:00am EDT
 

If the Falcons elect to hold off on addressing some of their most pressing defensive needs just a little bit longer with the selection of a tackle in the first round, it would have a ramifications all over the roster for 2019 and beyond. Today, we’ll take a look at that potential utcome.

Who might the Falcons take?

The most common names being bandied about are Jawaan Taylor, Jonah Williams, and Cody Ford, but suffice to say one of the top five or so tackles is likely to be available at #14, if not 3-4 of them.

What does it mean for the roster in 2019?

A first round right tackle would immediately lock into battle with Ty Sambrailo for the starting right tackle job and would be the heavy favorite to win it. Sambrailo has been talked up by the Falcons after putting together a stretch of solid-to-above average play at the end of 2018 and is under contract for the next three years, making him a perfectly legitimate stopgap in the team’s eyes. He’s unlikely to be able to fend off a top 15 tackle, even so.

That would mean the Falcons would be reliant on a rookie, however talented, on an offensive line that could legitimately turn over three starters despite my suggestions that it would be difficult to do so earlier in the spring. Sambrailo would be available as a solid enough swing tackle, Matt Gono would be lurking on the roster or practice squad as a developmental option, and the Falcons would essentially have finalized their 2019 offense, barring injuries. Depending on how quickly the rookie hits the ground running and how James Carpenter and Jamon Brown, the offense certainly would have the talent to be a juggernaut again.

What does it mean long-term?

This is where drafting a tackle is really appealing. If the Falcons do land a good-to-great starting right tackle in the first round, that player should be relatively affordable through 2022 and will come with a fifth-year option, giving the Falcons their bookend tackles for several seasons while they search for long-term answers on the interior of the line. That will be essential for keeping Matt Ryan upright and healthy through what figures to be the final few seasons of his career (he’ll be 34 in May, so we’re talking anywhere from 3-7 years, hopefully the latter) as the roster changes around him, given that the team has to come to grips with the end of Alex Mack’s contract, financial decisions at receiver with Mohamed Sanu and a 2022 new contract for Calvin Ridley, and likely some churn at running back. The stability afforded by having that kind of talent at arguably the two most critical spots on the offensive line is genuinely important, and has to be tempting for Atlanta.

What are the opportunity costs?

Myriad, potentially. By punting on a top defensive lineman in the first round, the Falcons cannot guarantee that a guy they love will be there on the draft’s second day. If that happens, the Falcons could well be investing in a third day pass rusher, defensive tackle, or both, and hoping they can nail picks that historically have a lower chance of panning out.

That’s the most extreme cost, but addressing offense with that critical first round pick has a solid chance of ensuring that the Falcons don’t get high end help on defense for 2019 the rest of the way, even if they grab players who can help down the line. Dan Quinn’s coaching is going to be expected to make a major difference for that side of the ball, but even with nine picks there’s a chance that the Falcons are going to be wholly or largely reliant on the players they have on the roster at the moment. There’s enough here to think they’ll be able to get to the level of a quality defense, but the team needs young, capable defenders even so, and grabbing their long-term tackle makes that a bit more complicated.

Should the Falcons do it?

It’s not my preference. The Falcons clearly struck gold by getting Ryan Schraeder, an undrafted free agent, to Atlanta and playing at a high level for several seasons, but truth be told they’ve been faring well with undrafted and late round tackle options at that position for years now. A marquee, first round tackle very well might take over for Sambrailo this year and prove to be an upgrade both now and in the future, but this is a class with some interesting later round options and passing on a top-shelf defensive lineman may come with its own heavy costs.

The Falcons need to protect Matt Ryan, especially as he gets older, but they can do that through a mix of savvy later picks and stopgaps at right tackle and legitimate long-term upgrades at guard, to say nothing of ensuring they have a quality heir for Alex Mack. It doesn’t pop and fizzle and it’s not the slam dunk a first round tackle would seem to be, but at some point the Falcons are going to need to put a strong defense on the field alongside their consistently terrific offense, and this year is a prime opportunity to get the kind of player who can get them well on the way there.

I found this article interesting. I am beginning to lean away from taking an OT at 14.
Edited by Tim Mazetti
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This is a really good article:

So what if all the D-lineman are gone or would cost a fortune. Taylor is a available do you take him at 14? Then bundle some picks to move back up to high 2 or late 1 to get our DT/DE. I would agree that Sambraillo played fairly well late and drafting an OT that doesn't project far beyond his skills doesn't make sense in round 1, at least to me. 

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I like Ford and Williams and even Taylor (better if we are going to be more run oriented) would be fine but I think DT is more important.  I do not expect Sambarilo to be a superstar but I certainly think he will be ok most of the time and for Koetter to compensate for when he isn't.  He's a known quantity (limitations and all).  If we draft a rookie in the 1st, I expect them to play and kinda hard for me to think they would fare much better than Sambrailo in the 1st year.   If we do go OT, Williams has the highest floor, Ford highest ceiling and lowest floor imo.  Taylor being the middle man but a true road grader.

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Ideal scenario for me. Lock down OT or DL with our first, and then trade up in the late 1st or early 2nd and get the one you didn't take at #14. 

Example: DL run occurs early so we take one of the OTs, but that could leave Lawrence, Tillery, or maybe  Simmons still on the board. Move up and grab one of them. 

Flip that scenario and get Wilkins at 14, and maybe Ford or McGary in the late first early 2nd. 

Or we stand pat and let the draft come to us. 

Or move up in later rounds. Maybe Tytus Howard can be had in the late 2nd, or early 3rd if our staff thinks he can be developed. 

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44 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Defense was terrible last while the offense put up 26 ppg. All offseason moves have been offense except Clay.  The defense needs at least our first two picks

Is your guess DT(my guess trade up to get Howard or maybe even Quinnen/very longshot) then CB in 2nd after most likely second trade up(just a wild guess) if trade happened in the first. Leaving us with 4 or 5 picks?????

And if its Quinnen would it probably be Julio type trade? 

Just a novice draft enthusiast picking your brain. 

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6 minutes ago, Flyin' In DC said:

Is your guess DT(my guess trade up to get Howard or maybe even Quinnen/very longshot) then CB in 2nd after most likely second trade up(just a wild guess) if trade happened in the first. Leaving us with 4 or 5 picks?????

And if its Quinnen would it probably be Julio type trade? 

Just a novice draft enthusiast picking your brain. 

DT is the glaring hole so it’s the only logical choice unless Senat has made some tremendous jump.

And I’m a novice, too.  

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3 hours ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Defense was terrible last while the offense put up 26 ppg. All offseason moves have been offense except Clay.  The defense needs at least our first two picks

There really hasn’t been any “big splash” signing on either side of the ball(and I am ok with that). 

With that said, I am ok with us going O or D line at this point.

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1 minute ago, Ezekiel 25:17 said:

There really hasn’t been any “big splash” signing on either side of the ball(and I am ok with that). 

With that said, I am ok with us going O or D line at this point.

I like our 2 OG’s..and they gave Ty 5 mill. Just think our D needs some attention

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14 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

I like our 2 OG’s..and they gave Ty 5 mill. Just think our D needs some attention

With the lack of OL talent in this years and draft the Depth of DL I could see it 50/50 still.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ok with a DT at 14, I just don’t see it as written in stone that we go that way.

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DT at 14 if we can’t trade down

DE at 45 Ferguson or Austin Bryan

OT Max Scharping from NIU is A guy nobody talks about. 6’6 320 As physical as any guard or tackle in the draft athletic road grader he would most likely beat Sambrayllo out.

I know we have injuries but our defense looked underwhelming at times we probably won’t keep all nine pics but six of those seven pics should be on defense

 

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Not worried about the talent I’m worried about the coaching it’s been my bugger bear all season.We can get talent he’ll we have talent but if it’s not deployed correctly put a fork in it.

DQ defensively has what he wants I think he knows exactly what he wants.

OT I can still see it happening but it’ll be one of those on the day decisions if the board falls to them or trade back.I mean if we traded back and landed a combo of Ford & Lawrence/Wilkins for me that’s a win right there.

You’ve added size which has been the go to seemingly this off season and you have solidified OT long term also.

Then it comes down to DQ coaching up that defense.Thats the key and always has been in this process.Ill be also looking hard at Chris Morgan because he’s got to bring this Oline up to speed quick as there will be 3 new guys starting on it.

See it’s coaching all along.

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4 hours ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Defense was terrible last while the offense put up 26 ppg. All offseason moves have been offense except Clay.  The defense needs at least our first two picks

I'm not opposed to it, just wondering if we could trade back to accumulate more picks, land the OT, then use those picks to trade back up for another 2nd and go back to back defensive picks.

I dunno...I'm with you though, I want defense.

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6 hours ago, BLACK WATCH said:

For me, it has to be, a DT at #14.

Yep one of the top DTs will be around at 14, as long as the guy is over 320lbs I'll be fine with it. I hope we get Lawrence though. No reason to get OT with ok our #1.

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