2014 PFF Rank: 26th
LT: Jake Matthews (1st round pick-rookie, 22 y/o)
LG: Justin Blalock (2nd round pick, 31 y/o)
C: James Stone ( Undrafted-rookie, 22 y/o)
RG: Jon Asamoah (3rd round pick, 26 y/o)
RT: Ryan Schraeder (Undrafted, 26 y/o)
2015 PFF Rank: 4th
LT: Jake Matthews
LG: Andy Levitre (2nd round pick, 29 y/o)
C: Michael Person (7th round pick, 27 y/o)
RG: Chris Chester (2nd round pick, 32 y/o)
RT: Ryan Schraeder
In 2015 the Atlanta Falcons improved their offensive line unit 22 spots. They left their bookends the same, focusing on the interior linemen in the overhaul. They acquired left guard Andy Levitre via trade for just a 6th round pick. Next, they scooped up Michael Person to man the center position after he had bounced around the league. He was signed to an affordable 3 year, $3.85 million contract. To complete the trifecta, they signed veteran Chris Chester to a 1 year, $2.8 million contract.
There happen to be some similarities between the Broncos offensive line rebuild and the one seen here by the Falcons. First, both teams saw an improvement from a second-year player that helped account for the better line play. Next, each front office opted to sign a veteran over the age of 30 yrs. to provide leadership upfront. They did all of this without making any big splashes on the free-agent market. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, each team was able to secure starters who weren’t drafted with premier picks.