ESPN polled over 50 NFL executives, coaches, scouts and players to compile a list of top players at each position. The Atlanta Falcons Chris Lindstrom is considered one of the top-young guards in the NFL, but he was nowhere to be found on ESPN’s list of top interior offensive linemen.
Linebacker Deion Jones was able to garner an honorable mention at linebacker, but 18 guards and centers not named Chris Lindstrom made the interior offensive linemen list.
Lindstrom just finished his third season and has yet to make a Pro Bowl for an Atlanta Falcons team that has compiled an 18-30 record since he’s been in the league.
Playing on a bad-Falcons team might seem like a good excuse to overlook Lindstrom, but Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow and guards Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laken Tomlinson both made honorable mention from the New York Jets.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) is better used as a guide than the the law, but PFF still had Lindstrom has the sixth-highest rated guard in the NFL last year with a grade of 83.7.
Lindstrom’s PFF grade put him considerable ahead of players like three-time No. 1 Quenton Nelson, Colts (69.1), No. 3 Brandon Scherff, Jaguars (73.6), Tomlinson (73.6), and Vera-Tucker (66.8).
And those were just the guards who made the list ahead of Lindstrom.
The Falcons have big problems as left guard and right tackle. Guard Jalen Mayfield was the worst graded pass blocker by PFF of any lineman in the NFL with enough snaps to qualify. Kaleb McGary has been a turnstile at right tackles since being taken 31st overall in 2019.
Both players will face competition for their jobs 2022 as the Falcons look to improve the running game and pass protection this season.
But Lindstrom not only passes the PFF grade, he passes the eye test. Lindstrom was really good on a bad offensive line in 2021 despite playing between McGary and second-year center Matt Hennessy, who also struggled last season.
Lindstrom didn’t make the list of top interior offensive linemen heading into the 2022 season, but if he has another year like he did in 2021, he’ll begin to get the recognition he deserves.