Right tackle Kaleb McGary was taken by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He has seemingly regressed each year and leaked nine sacks in 2021 while being graded by Pro Football Focus as the 59th best among 83 eligible tackles.
The Falcons will look to try and upgrade the right tackle position in free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft, and one player to keep an eye on is Daniel Faalele out of Minnesota.
Faalele is a big man in a big man’s game. He measured 6’8 1/8″ and 387 pounds with an 86 1/4″ wingspan. Yes, he stretches more than seven feet across.
Faalele pushes 400 pounds on any given day and may be better off playing in the 350 range, but he has remarkable agility for a player of his size.
The question obviously becomes one of lateral movement and his ability to play tackle on the NFL level, but in Falcons head coach Arthur Smith’s offensive scheme, there are a lot of two tight end sets. Covering Faalele with a blocking tight end like Lee Smith last year would be a round peg in a round hole for what Smith wants to do on offense.
Once Faalele engages with a player, it’s over.
He engulfs his man and moves him where he wants him to be. He has the length to cover the speed rushers off the edge. He covers so much ground with his sheer mass, he’s tough to beat off the edge.
The Falcons have four of the top-75 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. ESPN has Faalele rated as the No. 6 offensive tackle and No. 57 overall prospect. That falls in the sweet spot of the Falcons’ two second-round picks at 43 and 58.
Arthur Smith wants his Falcons to be physical at the point of attack and establish their will on an opposing defense with the running game to set up play action.
Several of the latest mocks have the Falcons fixing their pass rush with the No. 8 overall pick.
What better way to fix a leaky line than with 400 pounds of Daniel Faalele?