The Atlanta Falcons big offseason plan was to beef up the offensive line. Sadly that plan seems to be falling apart already and the team may not see the offensive line that they anticipated this season.
Spending 49.35 million in guaranteed money, 14 million in salary-cap space, and using their first three picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons invested major resources into the offensive line this offseason. Adding in the salaries of Jake Matthews and Alex Mack, the salary cap space used for the key linemen climbs to nearly 32 million dollars, according to spotrac.com
The Atlanta Falcons were thoroughly thrashed by the Minnesota Vikings, on the road to open the 2019 NFL Season. The Birds were whipped in nearly every phase of the game, but the play of the remodeled offensive line was especially concerning.
Matt Ryan was under siege all afternoon, being hurried 13 times, sacked four times and hit a plethora of other times. Several Atlanta pass protectors struggled against the Vikings.
The Right Tackle Tandem
Rookie Kaleb McGary gave up one of the four sacks of Ryan, in his first NFL start. He also allowed Matt to be hit and hurried an additional time while playing 36 of a possible 59 snaps, in his inaugural game.
McGary had a hard time with Pro Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter, but otherwise, he actually held up quite well. Kaleb did not perform well in the run game though, earning a Pro Football Focus grade of just 56.4.
He gave way to Ty Sambrailo due to fatigue, in the second half. Kaleb McGary has recently returned from a heart procedure, so the fact that he was able to start this game is certainly commendable.
Speaking of Ty Sambrailo, he has had his problems in pass protection as well. He also allowed three total pressures of Matt Ryan, with his inability to secure the pocket causing three hurries. He was also graded slightly worse in the ground game with a 56 2.