The Falcons surprised us all last night by taking not one but two offensive linemen in the first round. Many people thought Atlanta would trade up for defensive tackle Ed Oliver at the eighth pick, not for the right tackle Kaleb McGary at the thirty-first pick. The McGary pick came after taking the guard Chris Lindstrom out of Boston College. Let’s dive a little deeper into the big pieces of beef the Falcons drafted last night.
At the 14th overall pick with defensive ends Brian Burns and Montez Sweat still on the board, the Falcons took Chris Lindstrom, guard out of Boston College. Lindstrom is 6’4 305+ lbs. and can move well. He was All ACC 2nd team in 2017, and 1st team All ACC in 2018. The way Lindstrom blocks is a lot like how my uncle explained using a power drill to me many years ago; he would say “Get on it and stay on it”, the video below will show that’s exactly what Lindstrom does. Lindstrom does a great job at finding a guy to block, he often takes care of his duties and moves on to the second level for more action. Last year Lindstrom only allowed an anemic 4 pressures, that’s a sweet tune for the last Boston College player we took in the first round (Matt Ryan) to hum along to. Overall, I think this is a smart pick; not at all what was expected, but Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff have done nothing but draft Pro Bowlers in the first round.
The Falcons traded back into the first round by giving up their 2nd round pick (45) and our 3rd round pick (79), to get the 31st overall pick and the Rams 6th round pick (203). With that pick, we took the offensive tackle, Kaleb McGary out of Washington. McGary is nearly impossible to move at a whopping 6’6 318 lbs. While watching some of his tapes he seems to absolutely swallow up defenders. He doesn’t have the best hands, but if he does get the defender in his grasp, they aren’t going anywhere. McGary has been noted as having character issues and being socially awkward, but that’s nothing the Brotherhood can’t fix. Dan Quinn said he wanted the offensive line to get nastier, which he’ll get with McGary who is said to have a mean streak. McGary is big and strong and should plug in almost immediately at right tackle.
Between Free Agency and the first round of the draft, Atlanta’s offensive line has officially been bolstered. Mack will start at center and Matthews will continue to start on the blindside, but after that, we have a lot of camp competition. The rest of the O line includes: Lindstrom (14), McGary (31), Carpenter (FA), Brown (FA), and returning players Sambrailo, Schweitzer, Fusco, and Gono. Depth is great but the Offensive line room is getting awfully crowded.
With no picks between rounds 2 and 3, I would not be surprised in the slightest if Atlanta trades up two or three times in day 2 of the Draft. We have two picks in the 4th (117/137), 5th (152/172), and 6th (186/203) rounds and one in the 7th (230). Packaging some of those picks with players like Schweitzer or Fusco to move into the 2nd or 3rd rounds for defensive line or cornerback would be great draft management by the Falcons. Rise Up!