Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff does not have a strong track record of drafting offensive linemen.
With the Falcons needing to improve their offensive line play, they drafted Boston College right guard Chris Lindstrom and Washington right tackle Kaleb McGary in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday.
Under Dimitroff, the Falcons have had more success trading for proven commodities, like Andy Levitre, or signing players in free agency, like center Alex Mack or guard Chris Chester.
The Falcons and the rest of the league have had trouble developing linemen because of the new contact rules and with colleges running more spread offenses.
The last offensive linemen the Falcons developed was right tackle Ryan Schraeder, an undrafted player from Valdosta State. He slipped last season, lost his starting position and was released.
The best lineman the Falcons drafted -- after the first round -- was center Joe Hawley under Dimitroff.
One could debate whether Jake Matthews or Sam Baker was the best first-rounder picked since 2008. Baker was never selected to the Pro Bowl and Matthews just made his first trip as an alternate after the 2018 season.
The Falcons worked with Wes Schweitzer, a sixth-round draft pick in 2016, and Sean Harlow, a fourth round pick in 2017. Both sat for one year. Schweitzer played with mix results in his second and third years. Harlow was cut and signed to the practice squad.
Tackle Jake Rodgers, a seventh-round pick in 2015, has bounced around the league as a practice squad player. He was with Houston, Pittsburgh and Baltimore in 2018, but has never played a down in the NFL. He was recently signed by Denver.
In 2014, the Falcons drafted Matthews in the first-round with the sixth overall pick. Tennessee’s took tackle Taylor Lewan with the 11th pick and he’s made it to three Pro Bowls.
In 2012, center Peter Konz was drafted in the second round and tackle Lamar Holmes was taken in the third round.
Konz played in 39 games and made 28 starts before the Falcons moved on from him in 2014. Holmes made 19 starts and played in 21 games before the team released him.
Back in 2011, the Falcons picked Andrew “The President” Jackson in the seventh round. He never played in the NFL.
In 2010, the Falcons drafted Alabama guard Mike Johnson in the third-round and Hawley in the fourth-round. Johnson’s career was side-tracked by injuries, while Hawley went on to make 26 starts and play 91 games in the NFL.
In 2009, North Carolina tackle Garrett Reynolds was selected in the fifth-round. He went on to start 18 games and play in 67.
In 2008, the Falcons selected Baker after trading back into the first round. Injuries side-tracked Baker’s career. He made 32 starts and played in 75 games.
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