The Atlanta Falcons offensive line can’t get much worse than what it was last season, but how much better can it get? The Falcons did bring in some new personnel to create competition for guys like Jalen Mayfield, Kaleb McGary, and Matt Hennessy, but they didn’t exactly bring in Pro-Bowlers to replace those guys.
Again, the offensive line can’t be much worse, but between last year’s starters, and the guys the Falcons brought in to compete for starting spots on the offensive line, how much better can it really be? Jon Chuckery discussed where he believes this offensive line could rank at the end of the season Tuesday night on The Jon Chuckery Show.
Another factor that has to be considered when deciding where the Atlanta Falcons offensive line will rank at the end of the season is the pass rushers the offensive line will have to deal with throughout the 2022-23 campaign. Chuckery takes this into consideration saying “Literally outside of Von Miller and Micah Parsons this team is going to see every top flight brand name pass rusher, both Bosa brothers [Joey Bosa and Nick Bosa], Khalil Mack, Myles Garrett, TJ Watt, on and on and on and on and on.”
Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, Khalil Mack, Myles Garrett, and TJ Watt are only some of the premiere pass rushers the Atlanta Falcons will see believe it or not. The Atlanta Falcons offensive line will also face Aaron Donald, A’Shawn Robinson, Leonard Floyd, Marcus Davenport, Cameron Jordan, Jadeveon Clowney, Arik Armstead, Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, Chase Young, Justin Houston, and JJ Watt. It is easy to see why Jon doesn’t expect a ton of improvement from the offensive line this season, but he does expect some saying “I think that they’re probably somewhere in the mid twenties when all is said and done.”
Going from basically the bottom of the league to mid twenties isn’t obviously a huge improvement but Jon says “At this point I'm looking for any and all improvement that the Falcons can come up with.” Jon also believes the Falcons will have a chance to be better because they will be running the ball more saying “I guess the good thing is that you’re probably going to ask this offensive line to run block more than they did the previous year because you don’t have a throw it first quarterback on the roster like you’ve had with Matt, and obviously with the receivers and everything like that, so you expect that they’ll be some change of offensively philosophy.”
Jon also thinks this offensive line will be slightly better because the personnel will be slightly better, because he does not think that Jalen Mayfield, Matt Hennessy, and Kaleb McGary will all be out there starting in week one saying “I don’t that week that all three guys from last year are going to start, amd that would be Mayfield, Hennessy, and McGary. I think somebody is going to get beat out for one of those spots, whether it’s Wilkinson at guard, it’s Ifedi at tackle, or it’s Drew Dalman at center.”
Jon believes whatever combination is out there between Elijah Wilkinson, Jalen Mayfield, Matt Hennessy, Drew Dalman, Germain Ifedi, and/or Kaleb McGary will be better than what is was last year, unless the Atlanta Falcons have Jalen Mayfield and Matt Hennessy next to each other again saying “You cannot start Jalen Mayield and Matt Hennessy side by side. You can start one, but if you start both you’re going to end up with the same result that you did last year. You’re not going to get enough improvement out of your offensive line.” Jon also goes on to say “You can’t trot out three of the nine worst pass blocking offensive lineman in the league.”
At the end of the day the point is that this Atlanta Falcons offensive line will look a little different and should be better in 2022, but how much better is yet to be seen, but we will find out very soon.