FLOWERY BRANCH – After reviewing some of the numbers, it doesn’t appear that recently signed Chris Chester is much of an upgrade over former Falcons starting left guard Justin Blalock.
Blalock, 6-foot-4, 326 pounds, was selected by the Falcons in the second-round (39th overall) of the 2007 NFL draft out of Texas. He started all 125 games in which he played, including 102 consecutive games between 2007 and 2014. Blalock started 15 games in 2014.
Blalock, who was set to make a base salary of $4.75 million in 2015, was an apparent salary cap and scheme-fit casualty. Chester, who’s ranked lower than Blalock and Jon Asamoah in recent years under profootballfocus.com’s grading system, was signed for $2.8 million.
Chester, 32, has started 111 of 137 games for the Ravens and Redskins. Chester was snapped up after being released by Washington.
Blalock, 31, was released on Feb. 28 and has yet to sign with another team.
Last season, Blalock (26th) and Asamoah (24th) were rated higher than Chester (33rd) by profootballfocus.com.
Blalock gave up three sacks, six hits and 20 quarterback hurries over 991 snaps. Chester gave up five sacks, three hits and 16 hurries. Asamoah gave up two sacks, three hits and 21 hurries.
In 2013, Chester’s last season with Redskins under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, he was the 47th ranked guard, quite a distance behind Asamoah (21), who was with Kansas City, and Blalock (23).
In 2013, Asamoah gave up one sack, no hits and 12 hurries over 673 snaps. Blalock gave up five sacks, five hits and 21 hurries over 1,100 snaps. Chester gave up three sacks, five hits and 38 hurries over 1,172 snaps.
Blalock and Asamoah graded out better in the run game in 2014. Chester had a better grade than Blalock while run blocking in 2013.
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