The Atlanta Falcons biggest needs going into the offseason seem to be at defensive tackle and in the defensive backfield, but offensive line help is also a huge need for the Falcons in their quest to get back to being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Matt Ryan simply didn’t have enough time to throw last season, and the team’s run blocking was also extremely poor. Justin Blalock was the lone bright spot on the Falcons line, as even Sam Baker struggled last year (though he did deal with a significant injury).
This is a team that could afford to add another offensive tackle and interior offensive lineman, and it will be interesting to see if they end up making these upgrades. They need to upgrade at least one position on their line, and there’s one impending free agent on the OL worth re-signing in center Joe Hawley, who is about an average player overall and is certainly much better than Peter Konz, who was kicked out of center and played just as poorly at right guard.
Draft insider Tony Pauline reported yesterday that the “feeling from the combine” is that the Falcons have a 50% chance at re-signing Hawley, who is just 25 and has some nice versatility. It wouldn’t be a heart-breaker for the Falcons to not re-sign Hawley, and they shouldn’t overpay him by even a penny. However, he is an adequate starter, and the Falcons probably don’t want to lose one of those on the line either.