Second-year center Matt Hennessy has started every game this season for the Atlanta Falcons, but that could change sometime in the next few weeks.
Hennessy has struggled on the interior line and during Sunday's 21-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, rookie Drew Dalman replaced him for the final 20 offensive snaps.
While the Falcons like the upside Dalman brings, it might be a bit premature to move on from Hennessy.
Switching the team's center in the middle of a season, especially during a playoff push, can be extremely risky. It would be one thing if the switch was made to a veteran with a decent amount of experience, but the other option is turning it to a player with minimal NFL playing time.
While Hennessy has been underwhelming in his first full season as the starter, the numbers show that he might be better than advertised. His PFF grade ranks at 67.0, 16th among NFL centers, making him an average center. While Dalman may perform above average, that isn't a sure bet.
Every roll of the dice in December has to be extremely calculated, and for a first-time head coach making these changes with first-time players, it might be best to leave it alone for now.
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On this episode of "Locked On Falcons," host Aaron Freeman reviews the All-22 film from the Falcons' Week 12 win over the Jaguars.
First, he breaks down the causes of Matt Ryan's struggles and looks at whether it was the quarterback, receivers, play-calling or blocking that led to another lackluster performance.
Then, he answers listener questions the limited role for wide receiver Marvin Hall, how his film review compares to Pro Football Focus' grades from Week 12, and whether Jalen Mayfield's improved run blocking will lead to more success in pass protection.
Finally, Aaron looks at Dalman's extended debut in comparison to Hennessy and whether the team is poised to make a more permanent switch at center.
He also discusses the importance of continuity and cohesion along the offensive line, before looking at the team's potential options to upgrade their offensive line in the 2022 NFL Draft before looking at other areas of the roster that could be address at the top of the draft.