John Bazemore/Associated Press
The Atlanta Falcons' biggest hole in 2013 was the turnstile at right guard and right tackle. Add in poor play from an inexperienced Lamar Holmes at left tackle, and Atlanta needed to make some wholesale changes across its offensive line.
In 2013, the Falcons allowed Matt Ryan to get hit 45 times on top of the 40 sacks allowed, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Oh, and Ryan was also pressured 206 times for a total of 301 quarterback disruptions on his 703 dropbacks, meaning he was pressured 42.8 percent of the time.
The run game wasn’t much better, as Atlanta had the least amount of rushing yards in the league and 24th best yards per carry average in the NFL. The offensive line needed to drastically improve, so the Falcons went out and got Jon Asamoah in free agency and drafted Jake Matthews No. 6 overall.
Atlanta will also get Sam Baker back from a knee injury that sidelined him for all but three games in 2013. The combination of getting Baker back and having Asamoah and Matthews on the right side of the line should give Atlanta one of the better offensive lines it has had in years—at least on paper.
The group will have to show it is getting the requisite chemistry needed to be a top-level offensive line during training camp. It will also have to show that it is much better than it was in 2013—although, that shouldn’t be too hard. Atlanta’s 2013 offensive line was… well, offensive.
All stats used are from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN.com, CFBStats or NFL.com. All combine and pro day info is courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, college football, the NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.