Falcons OL Receives High Marks from PFF

The Atlanta Falcons have invested a lot into their offensive line, and it's paying off according to Pro Football Focus.
Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom leads a unit that receives high marks from Pro Football Focus
Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom leads a unit that receives high marks from Pro Football Focus / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Falcons have invested heavily to build a homegrown offensive line. Jake Matthews, Chris Lindstrom, and Kaleb McGary were all first-round picks who earned second contracts with the club.

Matthew Bergeron was a second round pick, taken 38th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. The lone exception could be Drew Dalman who was taken in the fourth round as the pick the Denver Broncos sent Atlanta to swap spots in the second round of the 2021 draft. The Broncos took running back Javante Williams and the Falcons took Richie Grant.

One could argue Dalman has been the most productive player involved in that trade.

The heavy investment has paid off in recent years as the Falcons have built one of the best offensive lines in the game. Pro Football Focus (PFF) thinks the unit ranks No. 6 in the NFL heading into the 2024 season.

"Drew Dalman’s breakout 2023 season significantly helped this unit, especially in run blocking, as Dalman finished with the third-highest run-blocking grade among centers," wrote Zoltán Buday on PFF. "Chris Lindstrom was also once again the highest-graded guard in the NFL.

"All five starting Falcons offensive linemen return for the 2024 season, and the unit can further improve if second-year guard Matthew Bergeron takes a step forward."

Bergeron was the Falcons' lowest graded offensive lineman in 2023 by PFF with a 59.1. Still, Atlanta was pleased with how Bergeron played as a rookie despite the low grade, and they are expecting a big leap from year one to year two.

One could argue the Falcons should be even higher than No. 6, but they're in good company with the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles ranking as the top-two units. The Indianapolis Colts check in at No. 3, followed by the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets.

In the NFC South, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sit at No. 17. The Carolina Panthers are a few spots behind at No. 20, and the New Orleans Saints are considered the worst unit in the NFL at No. 32.

The Falcons built a smash-mouth reputation under former head coach Arthur Smith. New offensive coordinator Zac Robinson plans to take advantage of the offensive line's best traits, while also using Kirk Cousins to unlock the Falcons' young, talented skill players.

Scott Kennedy