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What's your opinion of center Drew Dalman?


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10 minutes ago, jidady said:

Everything depends on his strength. The instincts and football intelligence are there. But if he can't anchor, he'll be Peter Konz. I have high hopes that he'll do better than that. We won't know for a while, though. I think Hennessy got caught off-guard by the sheer power of NFL DTs.

Luckily being a good football player is in his DNA. :) He looks about as strong as Alex Mack. 

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51 minutes ago, Falcons Fan MVP said:

I think this guy is going to be really good. If we can just survive one year of growing pains at the center position I think we have our center of the future. 

 

40 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Agree. This guy has the build, the attitude and the ability to be our center for years to come with a little bit of seasoning and coaching. Love his potential.

 

20 minutes ago, TheHeartless said:

Would like to see him out on the field first before I make any judgement on the guy.  Do wonder how much weight he's put on since joining the team.

 

7 minutes ago, jidady said:

Everything depends on his strength. The instincts and football intelligence are there. But if he can't anchor, he'll be Peter Konz. I have high hopes that he'll do better than that. We won't know for a while, though. I think Hennessy got caught off-guard by the sheer power of NFL DTs.

The pros:  lots of starting experience at center, technically sound, very good at his job.  Pretty strong, 30-plus reps on the bench, which tells me Dalman takes this seriously.

The cons:  bit of a light 'anchor', average size in his hips and butt.   Good for mobility, not so good for pass protection.  Dalman's frame will not allow for much of a weight gain.   Dalman may have issues when power-blocking.... coaches may have to think twice before running any QB sneaks behind center.

I don't see Dalman ending up like Konz...  Konz was a lunger and lacked something in the power\strength department, plus....  I think Konz also lacked something in the 'toughness' department.   After his injury, Konz never returned.

Dalman's father played in the NFL.  You have to think Dalman's dad would be telling his son what it takes to play in the NFL, so Dalman should have a leg up in that respect.

 

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3 hours ago, egoprime II said:

 

 

 

The pros:  lots of starting experience at center, technically sound, very good at his job.  Pretty strong, 30-plus reps on the bench, which tells me Dalman takes this seriously.

The cons:  bit of a light 'anchor', average size in his hips and butt.   Good for mobility, not so good for pass protection.  Dalman's frame will not allow for much of a weight gain.   Dalman may have issues when power-blocking.... coaches may have to think twice before running any QB sneaks behind center.

I don't see Dalman ending up like Konz...  Konz was a lunger and lacked something in the power\strength department, plus....  I think Konz also lacked something in the 'toughness' department.   After his injury, Konz never returned.

Dalman's father played in the NFL.  You have to think Dalman's dad would be telling his son what it takes to play in the NFL, so Dalman should have a leg up in that respect.

 

This has a huge bearing on my belief in him. His father has been prepping him for this opportunity all of his life. Every athlete has strengths and weaknesses. Was Alex Mack an elite physical specimen in size, strength, quickness, arm length, etc. etc?

Dalman's been taught how to make the most of what he has and overcome his problem areas with hard work. Having gotten this far it's hard for me to count him out. Love that we have strong competition at this critical position whoever ends up with the starter job.

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1 hour ago, jidady said:

Everything depends on his strength. The instincts and football intelligence are there. But if he can't anchor, he'll be Peter Konz. I have high hopes that he'll do better than that. We won't know for a while, though. I think Hennessy got caught off-guard by the sheer power of NFL DTs.

Was it the Chiefs where he had his debut?  That is tough going.  I did not have the impression he was getting pushed around too much.  But then, I was temporarily insane the entire time Dirk Koetter was calling plays with 12 second route trees.  OK, I exaggerated.  Typical blocking time for the Falcons OL was only 11 seconds.  I thought Hennessy did OK for a rook.

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1 minute ago, NorthGaBoy said:

 I thought Hennessy did OK for a rook.

Playing center is a big ask for any rookie, but PFF had him with a 47.0 for the season, which is "shouldn't be in the league" territory. Thankfully, the new coaching staff seems to like him, and the early reports indicate he has made a jump with his workouts.

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1 hour ago, jidady said:

Playing center is a big ask for any rookie, but PFF had him with a 47.0 for the season, which is "shouldn't be in the league" territory. Thankfully, the new coaching staff seems to like him, and the early reports indicate he has made a jump with his workouts.

PFF needs a new formula.   Level of competition needs to be figured in, because playing against Chris Jones is a -lot- different than, say, Tyeler Davidson.    Tyeler is good, but Jones is -elite-.   Henny's first start being against Jones should be evaluated a bit differently IMO.

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36 minutes ago, egoprime II said:

PFF needs a new formula.   Level of competition needs to be figured in, because playing against Chris Jones is a -lot- different than, say, Tyeler Davidson.    Tyeler is good, but Jones is -elite-.   Henny's first start being against Jones should be evaluated a bit differently IMO.

Even so, when I see a number under 65, I view that player as replaceable. Under 50 is someone I don't want on our two-deep. So, Matt definitely has a long way to go.

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34 minutes ago, jidady said:

Even so, when I see a number under 65, I view that player as replaceable. Under 50 is someone I don't want on our two-deep. So, Matt definitely has a long way to go.

I think you’d have to take into account that much of his ratings was him at guard earlier in the season. He was definitely over his head with the combination of being out of position at guard and being a rookie early in the season. By the time of the KC game, he’d not only played his true position at as a center but it was much later in the season. 
 

I’ve gone back and watched that tape over and over and he didn’t do too bad versus Jones. 

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The reviews appear to all believe he'll be in a power run blocking scheme. Just stand there after he snaps the ball and is asked to hold a 375lb NT back all by himself for 5 to 7 seconds.  Ok, I'll agree with the scouting reports that appear to assume this will be his role, that he won't be very good at doing that.

But that's not what he is going to be asked to do here. Duh

Dalman excels in a zone blocking scheme, is a great fit. Provided he is a good technician, which he is by the way, he should be just fine.  Plenty of smaller NFL centers have been all pros for years by being great technicians. And by the way, there are plenty of excellent NFL OCs about his same size.  You really don't leave a center by himself in pass protection on a good pass rushing much DT anyway, especially in passing situations. 

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@Falcons Fan MVP @egoprime II @HASHBROWN3 @ATLskinjob @dardan

 

Here's the overview from Aaron Freeman (@falcfans on Twitter) from the Locked On Falcons podcast. This evaluation comes from watching about 65% of snaps in the truncated 2020 Pac-12 season. Also watched a few games from years prior.

Background:

 

Drew's father is Chris Dalman who played seven seasons with the 49ers before suffering a season ending neck injury in training camp. His father Chris Dalman starting coaching at his high school alma mater before coaching under Jim Mora Jr. as an assistant offensive line coach with the Falcons. Chris would coach under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford before returning to the high school ranks where he would coach his son Drew. Chris Dalman's last year with the 49ers, he was teammates with Dwayne Ledford.

 

Scouting Report:

Drew Dalman (along with Jalen Mayfield) is very nasty lineman who has great ability to finish guys playing to and beyond the whistle. Dalman's finishing ability is the biggest thing that separates him from Matt Hennessey. Hennessey and Dalman are very similar in a lot of ways due to the fact that they are undersized and will likely struggle against power, but will exceed in an outside zone scheme. Drew Dalman (in Aaron's opinion) is a bit better than Hennessey, but they are cut from the same cloth so to speak.

The main thing that jumps off the film with Drew Dalman is his athleticism. He played in a scheme at Stanford that featured a lot of outside zone, so projecting him to running a similar scheme at the next level is relatively easy in that regard. Everything that a zone center needs to do, she shows himself to do well on film, whether it be making reach blocks, climbing to the second level and taking on linebackers or just being that heat seeking missile, he does all of those things very well, even if he isn't the best you've seen. He isn't nearly as effective hitting his assignments on screen passes for whatever reason, but has the tools and potential to get better in this area.

Drew also does a good job with his hand usage. He benefits greatly from having very large hands (10.5 inches) that measured in the 94th percentile for centers and 85th percentile for OL over the last 20 years. He locks on well in the run game because of this and those large hands tend to show themselves well on film. This is a huge strength when compared to Hennessey. Aaron mentions that if the two were missiles, then Hennessey would damage his target, but not destroy it. Dalman is much more likely to destroy his target because he locks on well and then finishes his defender into the ground. This leads to his ceiling as a run blocker being a bit higher than Hennessey's.

Hennessey does outshine Dalman in terms of snapping the ball. There were times on film when Dalman snapped the ball too low and that led to issues for the Stanford offense. It isn't the biggest issue in the world for Dalman (although this was a complete non issue for Hennessey), but the ratio of snaps that were bad for Dalman (4 or 5 out of 280+ snaps) does compare about equally to what we saw out of Mike Person in over 900+ snaps in 2015. Dalman's snapping issues won't make or break the Falcons offense, but in a close position battle, things like this can make a difference.

Dalman and Hennessey will struggle against power. In previous years when Todd McClure was here, this wasn't an issue as most of the tradition 3-4 teams were in the AFC. However, as more teams run more hybrid fronts, this could become somewhat of an issue. This may become an issue as the Falcons play Tampa Bay and Carolina twice (Vita Vea & Derrick Brown) as well as having the Giants, WFT and Dallas among others. This also isn't ideal with a QB like Matt Ryan who needs a clean pocket to step up into. The hope is that outside of playing those two teams in the division that he can handle himself well, but that is a concern. This is why he doesn't project well as a guard, but he does project better than Hennessey there.

Going back to his athleticism, this will bode well for him in pass protection, because when he gets beat, he can recover and reset if they've been knocked back initially. Hennessey does not have this trait; Jake Matthews and Matt Gono do.

As far as a player comparison, Aaron usually does best case, worst case and most likely scenarios.

Worst case scenario:

Mason Cole, C, Cardinals

Cole was a 3rd round pick who started as a rookie when AQ Shipley got hurt. Was a backup when Shipley was healthy and started when Shipley left in free agency. Cole was not very effective when given a chance to start, which lead to the Cardinals trading for Rodney Hudson and trading Cole to the Vikings. If Dalman starts as a rookie, he will have a murderer's row to deal with (Javon Hargrave, Vita Vea, Danny Shelton, Daron Payne first four weeks).

Best case scenario:

David Andrews, C, New England Patriots

Undrafted free agent from Georgia. Started in place of Brian Stork due to Stork's concussion issues. Stork did reclaim his job when he was healthy, but couldn't hold of Andrews the following year. Didn't hurt that Andrews had Scarneccia as his coach. Andrews, like Dalman, does not have the best size, but gets by based on smarts and athleticism. Has a mean streak like Dalman. He doesn't get a lot of push, but he has great guards next to him (Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney).

Aaron wanted to compare him to Corey Linsley in this spot, but chose not to since Linsley was PFFs highest graded center this year. Linsley had a similar trajectory to Andrews as a top 10 C and solid starter although not elite. It is possible that Dalman can become the top rated center in year 7 like Linsley did (Alex Mack did this in year 8), but it's best not to get our hopes up.

Most likely scenario:

Austin Blythe, C, Chiefs

Originally a 7th round pick with the Colts. Cross trained as a G and C. He was cut after a year with the Colts and picked up by the Rams. Got some reps as a C and G early on there. Filled in admirably for Jamon Brown at G when he was suspended which lead to Brown being cut by the Rams. Brown would finish the 2018 season with the Giants before signing with some random team the following year. Blythe moved to C after the injuries to the Rams OLine.

Dalman will likely be a serviceable to good starter at C or a high level backup.

Aaron would bet money on Dalman starting more games in the next three years than Hennessey. Doesn't know if Dalman would be the long term solution as a C. He may be a good stopgap, but acknowledges that he is very pessimistic towards Jalen Mayfield and may be compensating with Dalman.

Edited by NashvilleFalcon01
Wasn't finished.
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9 hours ago, egoprime II said:

PFF needs a new formula.   Level of competition needs to be figured in, because playing against Chris Jones is a -lot- different than, say, Tyeler Davidson.    Tyeler is good, but Jones is -elite-.   Henny's first start being against Jones should be evaluated a bit differently IMO.

He played earlier when mack was hurt and it wasnt great although it was his 1st start and dirk didnt help. He was rag dolled a few times.

Playcalling was better in chiefs gm and he looked better to me.

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