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Falcons Long-Term Offensive Line


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Let's have a discussion about what the Falcons long-term options are on the OL. There's a lot of talk that maybe Chris Lindstrom was drafted to be the long-term successor to Alex Mack at center. If the Falcons plan on Lindstrom being Mack's successor then how much longer do they stay with Mack? Alex Mack turns 34 in November. Offensive linemen is one of the positions in the NFL where players can still be great into their late 30s. Mack is a free agent after the 2020 season. I don't see any reason to not think that the Falcons will cut Mack after 2019. So let's assume that Mack is the Falcons starting center for 2019 and 2020. That gives Chris Lindstrom 2 years of starting at RG next to Mack and learning from one of the best.

There's questions about if Kaleb McGary's long-term position is OT or OG, but the Falcons drafted him as an OT, so let's assume they see him as the long-term solution at RT. We know we've got Jake Matthews at LT for the foreseable future.

We signed Jamon Brown and James Carpentar to big deals. Looks like Carpenter might be lined up to start at LG this year. So what's the Falcons starting OL for 2019? Matthews, Carpenter, Mack, Lindstrom and McGary? What about moving forward beyond that? Where do the Falcons sit?

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Ideally, when you have three young 1st round picks on the OL, you should be able to plug the other two spots with mid-to-lower round picks or journeyman free agents and still be good. Hopefully the team is able to fill out the rest of the line with minimal resources and save the premium capital for other units. 

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46 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Not stupid at all.  I’d still rather spend a 2nd in best available OC next year

Too high for a C if Mack is still on the roster. We're going to definitely need WR and secondary help next year as well as LB and DL depth. If Mack is not on the roster you get a stop gap in FA, particularly if the Guards perform as expected this year, and still wait until mid rounds to find a center

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12 minutes ago, shockerfalcon said:

Too high for a C if Mack is still on the roster. We're going to definitely need WR and secondary help next year as well as LB and DL depth. If Mack is not on the roster you get a stop gap in FA, particularly if the Guards perform as expected this year, and still wait until mid rounds to find a center

You’d like to give the OC a year under Mack.  But you have a valid point

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1 hour ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Not stupid at all.  I’d still rather spend a 2nd in best available OC next year

 

1 hour ago, Tim Mazetti said:

Could be? He is big and fast enough.

On both of these points I agree to an extent.  If we have Matthews, Lindstrom, McGary, and Brown settled for the immediate future, I figured putting Wes strictly at C to backup Mack would let him focus solely on that position and as we have Carpenter, and Sambrailo covering G and T depth instead of using Wes as a G backup he can learn directly from Mack and Ryan making him a much better player than he is now and since he is only 25, even if Mack stays for 2 or 3 more years, he will be at peak age to take over for him once he retires.  

The point of using a 2nd rounder makes sense, but I fear if we have other issues with leaving players such as WR, LB, and possibly DE, it would be better suited maybe going 3rd round, or hoping we get a prospect lower (i.e. Grady, Kazee, Allen) that can be groomed should we not want to spend a high pick again, or if other positions are more needed at that particular time.

Both ideas could work, I guess we will just have to wait and see and hopefully whatever works helps us keep our stars as well as keeping a strong, effective 22 guys on the field each week.

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2 hours ago, Romfal said:

I think barring injury we are good with the starting group we have for 2 seasons. We should draft a Center in the middle rounds next draft. After that we should add another piece at Guard in 2021. 

Yeah, I think for 2019 and 2020 we're set barring something unforseen happening!!

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1 hour ago, Summerhill said:

Ideally, when you have three young 1st round picks on the OL, you should be able to plug the other two spots with mid-to-lower round picks or journeyman free agents and still be good. Hopefully the team is able to fill out the rest of the line with minimal resources and save the premium capital for other units. 

I'm hoping that is the case!! It's amazing how bad the OL has generally been over the years with all the money and draft picks we poured into it. That is what I could never understand about the TD haters that said he never attempted to fix the OL. Oh he more than definitely attempted to, it just never worked.

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Just now, Falconsfan567 said:

I don't see it!! I don't think Wes is a starter. I think he's quality depth at best.

Well we didn't see him as a starter his first year and he was forced into the role of RG, did not do well, then was forced into LG role and did much better following year.  I am not saying it is for certain, but with 2 or three years of backing up Mack and learning the ropes, he could mature into a solid piece possibly.  He has come a lot farther than expectations after his first year as RG starter than people have given him credit for, and with the new signings and draft picks in Lindstrom, McGary, Brown, and Carpenter, he wouldn't have to be utilized at all at those spots, and he Mack and Ryan could effectively help bridge the gap when Mack decides to hang them up for good.  Of course this is just my opinion and has no merit at this moment, but we have seen worse off players do better in similar circumstances.

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1 minute ago, federicofalcon2 said:

Well we didn't see him as a starter his first year and he was forced into the role of RG, did not do well, then was forced into LG role and did much better following year.  I am not saying it is for certain, but with 2 or three years of backing up Mack and learning the ropes, he could mature into a solid piece possibly.  He has come a lot farther than expectations after his first year as RG starter than people have given him credit for, and with the new signings and draft picks in Lindstrom, McGary, Brown, and Carpenter, he wouldn't have to be utilized at all at those spots, and he Mack and Ryan could effectively help bridge the gap when Mack decides to hang them up for good.  Of course this is just my opinion and has no merit at this moment, but we have seen worse off players do better in similar circumstances.

Has Wes ever played C in college or the NFL? Playing center is a different animal.

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3 minutes ago, Falconsfan567 said:

Has Wes ever played C in college or the NFL? Playing center is a different animal.

Game time playing center, I'm not sure, but for a lot of last year DQ had him practicing with the team as the center.  IDK if that means anything to you, but it must warrant some interest if even putting him there at all strikes interest in the HC.

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