Falcons Sign Former Jaguars Offensive Tackle

Ka'John Armstrong

Getty Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle No. 67 Ka'John Armstrong.

The Falcons recently moved on from offensive lineman Scottie Dill, leaving the roster with a vacant spot. Over the weekend the Falcons filled that vacancy with offensive tackle Ka’John Armstrong.

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Armstrong Visits Atlanta.

The Falcons brought in Armstrong, along with another lineman, right before releasing Dill.

Armstrong,24, went undrafted out of Eastern Michigan in 2019. The Cleveland Browns signed him only to waive him. Armstrong then split his time between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos the remainder of the season. The Broncos signed him to a promising contract, but once again Armstrong was waived this past April. While Armstrong has no real in-game experience, he’s still knocking at the door and a great fit for the Falcons’ practice squad.

Willie Beavers, who played his college ball at Western Michigan, also had a visit with the Falcons. Unlike Armstrong, Beavers was drafted in the fourth round by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2016 draft. He played in two games during his rookie season.

Beavers, 26, has also had some stints with several other practice squads including, the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers. Recently, Beavers started at left tackle for the Dallas Renegades, an XFL team.

Although Beavers has more experience, the Falcons probably went with Armstrong for a lower price. If Armstrong doesn’t work out, it’ll be interesting to see if Atlanta looks back to Beavers.

Falcons’ Tackle Starters

Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary are returning as the Falcons starters for both tackle positions.

Matthews has been an immediate starter at left tackle since being drafted in 2014. He is still in his prime and arguably underrated. In fact, PFF rated Matthews as the 10th-best tackler entering the 2020 season. Matthews didn’t come out of the gate strong in 2019, but he did pick up the pieces in the second half of the season. He has been the most reliable at protecting Matt Ryan’s blindside, so his position is pretty locked in.

On the other hand, Falcons’ right tackle starter, McGary, missed most of the preseason last year due to needing a heart ablation procedure. McGary was drafted 31st overall by Atlanta in the 2019 NFL Draft and went on to start every game of his rookie season.

He allowed 13.0 sacks, committed 6 false starts, and posted a below-average 53.0 PFF grade in 2019. Those aren’t the numbers the Falcons want to continue to see, but hopefully, with a full year of NFL experience under his belt, he’s bound to improve.

O-Line Coach Has the Biggest Task in Atlanta Right Now

It looks like defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is off to a great start with his task after the Falcons defense dominated the intra-squad scrimmage last Thursday. Now, it’s up to offensive line coach Chris Morgan to complete his responsibilities.

In 2019, Atlanta surrendered 50 sacks and 48 of them on Matt Ryan, a career-high for the franchise quarterback. Morgan’s duty is to turn this o-line around this season so that doesn’t happen again.

The Falcons have their five starters back for 2020 but if injury galore happens again, then the depth chart is looking fairly weak. Jamon Brown is already in concussion protocol and tackle Evin Ksiezarczyk did not participate in Thursday’s scrimmage due to an injury in his left knee. Matt Gono is getting reps at swing tackle, but he still has yet to shine and could use the depth help/competition with Armstrong.

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