Report card: Falcons earn a D for first-round picks

Team earned a  D for over-drafting two linemen

The Falcons' coach and GM share their thoughts on the Falcons' two first-round picks in the NFL Draft. Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter.

The Falcons, determined to fix the offensive line, landed guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary in the first round of the draft Thursday.

The Falcons gave their glowing reports on the two. However, it appears that they over-drafted two players, one that can’t come in and start immediately. They also gave away too much draft capital in the trade while passing on better players with both moves.

Here’s what one AFC personnel executive had to say about the Falcons’ picks:

“He’s never going to be a dynamic, flashy player,” the AFC executive said of Lindstrom. “He’s very solid. He’s going to be a good NFL player. He’s not dynamic. He’s probably not going to be a Pro Bowl-level player, but he’s always going to be a solid NFL starter. He’s good at everything and not great at anything. He’s just a solid guard.”

Is he Quenton Nelson?

“No, no, no,” the executive scout said. “Slow your horses now. He’s a solid NFL starter. He’s not as explosive or as powerful as Quenton is.”

What about the tackle?

“McGary is interesting because he’s such a good athlete for a guy that’s 6-7,” the executive said. “Now, he’s really, really strong. He’s got to learn to bend his knees and play with leverage better. He’s going to struggle one-on-one, out in space against elite pass rushers. But once he gets his hands on you, it’s pretty much over.”

Can they start right away.

“The guard can,” the scout said.

Is there any dirt out there on them?

“The tackle has been socially awkward,” the executive said. “It’s going to be a stretch for him coming in and because he’s not a bad kid, he’s just socially awkward. He’s from a small country town. He just struggles … He’s going to struggle being in a big city for a while.”

No stuff out on social media like Nick Bosa?

“No,” the executive said. “He’s done some stuff that’s just been socially awkward. You how one day they play country music and one day they play R&B in the weight room.

“It was country day, and one of the blacks turned on R&B. He got pissed off and cut the cord to the whole speaker system in the weight room. All of the whites and blacks were pissed off at him because they couldn’t listen to (any) music. Socially awkward stuff. Not racist. He just has to grow up stuff.”

Here’s what one NFC south had to say about the Falcons’ picks:

“They are ok...I though it was a little rich, but they both had really good Senior Bowls. They can both be starters in the league, so I can understand it. More safe picks than homeruns.”

Grade: D

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