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Matthew Bergeron Falcons

Matthew Bergeron Will Be Key Cog On Underrated Falcons OL

  • Justin Melo
  • June 7, 2023
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The Atlanta Falcons entered the 2023 NFL Draft with a need to upgrade their offensive line. General manager Terry Fontenot addressed their outlook by selecting former Syracuse offensive tackle Matthew Bergeron with the No. 38 overall selection in the second round. Bergeron is currently the favorite to start at left guard for the Falcons this season.

Fontenot spent a large portion of the offseason solidifying the offensive line. Right guard Chris Lindstrom signed a five-year extension worth $105 million in March. Prior to drafting Bergeron, the Falcons re-signed Kaleb McGary to a three-year contract worth $34.5 million.

Bergeron possesses plenty of experience as a starting left and right tackle at Syracuse, but many projected him to kick inside because has just modest length with 33rd-percentile 33.75-inch arms. The Quebec, Canada native spent time playing guard at this year’s Senior Bowl and his full-time transition to guard should go swimmingly at Falcons OTAs.

Bergeron is a smooth blocker with excellent body control and standout mobility. He displays easy change-of-direction skills and is effective when tasked with working laterally. Bergeron is a technically-savvy player that executes with good timing. Bergeron has ideal range for the guard position and should be a match made in heaven for Arthur Smith’s zone-blocking scheme.

Last year’s primary starting left guard was veteran journeymen Elijah Wilkinson. Wilkinson started nine games and performed admirably through 574 total offensive snaps. Pro Football Focus awarded Wilkinson with a pass-blocking grade of 70.7. Wilkinson reached unrestricted free agency, and the Falcons made little-to-no attempt to retain him. He signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals worth just $1.2 million, per Spotrac. It signals Atlanta’s faith in Bergeron to contribute as a first-year starter.

With Wilkinson out of the picture, Bergeron’s pathway to the starting left guard job is clear. Former third-round selection Matt Hennessy is Bergeron’s main competitor for the job. Hennesy played just 157 snaps at left guard last season. Chuma Edoga and Colby Gossett also made lackluster starts at left guard in 2022. Neither player remains under contract with the Falcons.

Bergeron was a limited participant at the NFL Scouting Combine, but his results were viewed as favorable by scouts around the league. The 6-foot-4, 318-pound Bergeron has terrific size for the guard position. Bergeron also had a 78th-percentile 30.5-inch vertical. Comparisons include Laremy Tunsil and Christian Darrisaw, per MockDraftable.

Bergeron will be blocking for a potentially underrated offense that includes second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder. Playmaking weapons include Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson, the latter of which was Fontenot’s lone draft selection before choosing Bergeron. There was a clear pre-draft plan in place. The Falcons possess the potential to be one of the league’s most improved offenses with Bergeron in their starting lineup. 

The Falcons are low-key candidates to field one of the league’s most dominant offensive line’s this season. Bergeron is a rookie blocker with an extremely high ceiling. Bergeron’s presence raises the upside of Atlanta’s offensive line.

Written By

Justin Melo