Denver Broncos guard Zane Beadles actually had a down year this season following his 2012 Pro Bowl campaign, but he is on track to receive a pretty lucrative deal in the offseason as one of the top guards available. He’s a very good pass blocker, a decent run blocker, and he has a great amount of versatility due to his ability to play at either guard or tackle (on either side of the field, too). While it’s far from ideal to play him at, say, left tackle, he could do it if his team were in a huge pinch.
ESPN NFL Nation’s Vaughn McClure wrote yesterday that Beadles could be a possibility for the Atlanta Falcons, and this isn’t off-the-cuff speculation either. McClure said that somebody told him that Beadles ”might fit nicely in Atlanta”. Earlier in the piece, he mentioned connections to veteran guard Jon Asamoah and Willie Colon and called them possibilities, but the thought of the Falcons signing Beadles, who is playing for a Super Bowl today, is an intriguing one.
Beadles was technically the weak link of the Broncos offensive line this past season, but that’s mostly because everyone else on the league’s best line played at an incredibly high level. Louis Vasquez, Orlando Franklin, and Manny Ramirez are among the best players at their respective positions, and left tackle Chris Clark filled in seamlessly for the injured Chris Clark.
Signing Beadles would be a win for the Falcons this offseason, especially if he comes at the right price. This is a guy who should get around $5 million per year due to his solid play and versatility. Even though the Falcons need a tackle the most, they have huge needs all over the line and have had one of the worst pass blocking units in the NFL over the past few seasons. The Falcons line reached new lows in both pass pro and run blocking last season, with Matt Ryan having the unfair task of operating behind an incompetent front. That should change with some big upgrades this offseason, and Beadles would be a very nice starting right guard for this squad.