With the Falcons recent roster cuts, their long-term plan for the offensive line came into focus.
Depending on which direction the labor negotiations take, left guard Justin Blalock, right guard Harvey Dahl and right tackle Tyson Clabo could all be free agents after this season.
Center Todd McClure is under contract through 2011. Left tackle Sam Baker is under contract through 2012 and would be a restricted free agent in 2013, at least under the current system.
So while we were all scratching our heads with the picks of guard Mike Johnson in the third round and center/guard Joe Hawley in the fourth round, the Falcons were planning to re-stock their line depth with potential starters.
Also, guard/tackle Garrett Reynolds was selected in the 2009 draft and tackle Jose Valdez is back on the practice squad to continue his development.
If Dahl, Clabo and Blalock hit the free agent lottery, the Falcons could counter with Johnson and Hawley at the guards and Reynolds and Valdez could compete for Clabo’s spot.
Let’s take a closer look at the roster: