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Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart Preview: Offensive Guard

One of the hardest positions to project for the Atlanta Falcons is the offensive guard position. 2011 showed the glaring weaknesses in the interior offensive line, which ultimately led to the decision to solidify the future at center by selecting Peter Konz in the second round.

Up until the OTAs it was fairly easy to see how the depth chart would shake out at guard, but personnel decisions and rotations really threw a wrench in the works. Arguably the biggest early surprise is Garrett Reynolds working with the first team OL in the RG spot. He played okay during his seven starts in 2011, but it didn't seem that he would be viewed as a long term answer.

Seeing Reynolds get the nod this early is surprising after the move Atlanta made to sign Vince Manuwai during free agency. It's not that Manuwai is stellar, but he is an experienced starter with a history of blocking for a North-South back in Jacksonville. This could be little more than throwing mud at a wall during OTAs, but I get the sense they have a lot of faith in Reynolds to shoulder the burden.

The left guard spot is still locked down by Justin Blalock, and that's not going to be changing any time soon. At only 28 years old he has many years left in the tank at a position where we see players last well into their mid-late thirties. Concurrently, his back-up Mike Johnson is a lock to remain as the first OL off the bench after being selected in the third round in 2010.

Projected Depth Chart

LG: Justin Blalock/ Mike Johnson

RG: Garrett Reynolds/ Vince Manuwai

The key to the Falcons' OL success will be that RG spot. Neither player is amazing, and will need to find a way to lead block for Turner, and support Ryan in the passing game or the offense could falter.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.