FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons are getting awfully thin along the interior offensive line spots.
After all of the starters answered the bell for 19 straight games last season, depth along the offensive line should be the number one priority heading into training camp.
All of the starters making it through 19 games — although center Alex Mack limped across the finish line in the Super Bowl with a broken fibula — just doesn’t happen very often.
With most of the 90-man rosters packed with players for training camp, there are no highly touted prospects out on the streets ready to come in a save the day. Even checked on our old pal Mike Person and he re-signed with Kansas City.
However, there is one exception.
Former New York Jets center Nick Mangold, a seven-time Pro Bowler was released over the offseason in their tank for the draft campaign that I hope doesn’t get good football man Todd Bowles fired.
Mangold has played in 164 games.
Mangold, 33, missed eight games last season with an ankle injury. He visited with Baltimore in April. He seemed upset about the lingering recovery from his ankle injury, but that might have been a veteran ploy to miss the offseason workouts.
The Falcons have signed veterans to be backups before. In 2015, they signed former high draft pick Jake Long and he served as the backup swing tackle. They made a trade to land Andy Levitre before the start of the 2015 season.
Long only played in four games, but was ready if young tackles Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder faltered.
The lack of depth behind Mack, left guard Levitre and right guard combatants Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland is troubling. There’s no one with an NFL start.
Presumably, the loser of the Schweitzer/Garland battle will be the swing guard and then there is rookie Sean Harlow, a fourth-round pick. But the combined number of NFL starts is zero.
2017 ATLANTA FALCONS 90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS