NASHVILLE — The Atlanta Falcons continued to rebuild their offensive line, selecting Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom with the 14th overall pick and selecting tackle Kaleb McGary from the University of Washington with the 31st pick.
Atlanta traded their second and third round picks (No. 45 and 79) and also received the Rams’s 203rd selection. The Falcons will pick again, barring any trades, Saturday afternoon.
#BostonCollege OG Chris Lindstrom with some great recovery to win this 1-on-1 on Khalen Saunders pic.twitter.com/psouu9aQvf— The Draft Network (@TheDraftNetwork) January 24, 2019
According to ProFootballFocus, Lindstrom had their second highest pass-blocking grade. Moreover, Lindstrom finished with a 1.1% pressure grade, the sixth highest on their platform heading into the draft. The 6’4” 308-pound guard was highly thought of by many draft scouts. When the coveted defensive linemen were off the board, it was clear to Falcons brass Lindstrom was the sound selection. Although the fans wanted a defensive lineman.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank, head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have each expressed the importance of continuing to strengthen Atlanta’s offensive line.
The Falcons had their highest spot in the draft since 2015, when the team was heading into its first season under Quinn. On the heels of two straight playoff appearances, including a run to the Super Bowl during the 2016 season, Atlanta was ravaged by injuries and slipped to 7-9 a year ago.
The Falcons traded back into the first round to select Kaleb McGary with the 31st pick.
It seemed like every play McGary found work, a play was made. pic.twitter.com/KrnQdle8r4— Cover 1 (@Cover1) April 8, 2019
“Got through a lot of adversity in his life,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said of McGary. “He’s a nasty finisher when you study him on tape. He’s a little raw in pass blocking. He’s very physical. They found something they wanted there with that physicality and toughness.”
McGary is 6’7” and 317 pounds and he joins an athletic offensive line coupled with left tackle Jake Matthews, James Carpenter and Alex Mack.
We went outside to ask an @AtlantaFalcons fan what he thought about their first round pick, Christian Lindstrom. #InBrotherhood #TheAtlantaVoice #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/7YyZQ36VYJ— The Atlanta Voice (@theatlantavoice) April 26, 2019
Quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked 42 times last season and the running game was pedestrian at best. With the changes in offensive line scheme and a more balanced attack for new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, the picks were Falcons to take the next step towards reclaiming the NFC South.