You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Falcons can find offensive line help in draft


The Falcons rode their high-scoring offense to the Super Bowl last season.

Nine of the Super Bowl starters are set to return, while the Falcons must find a replacement for right guard Chris Chester, who retired, and fullback Patrick DiMarco, who signed with Buffalo during free agency.

The Falcons, who have three picks in the top 100 of the coming NFL draft, have heavily scouted offensive linemen.

They could elect to tab Chester’s replacement with the 31st pick in the draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia.

Alabama’s Cam Robinson, Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp or Indiana’s Dan Feeney could fill the opening along the Falcons’ offensive line.

Robinson’s play was spectacular in his career with the Crimson Tide, but he had to explain to teams why he was arrested last summer.

“We address the elephant in the room first, which is the incident I got in last summer,” Robinson said of his interviews with teams. “I explain it to them, and I tell them exactly what happened. I’m 100 percent truthful with them, and then we move on and we talk ball.”

The prosecutor eventually elected not to pursue the charges of possession of a stolen gun and possession of marijuana.

“First and foremost I want them to understand I didn’t want to let that incident define me as a person,” Robinson said. “I respect myself and my family and university at the time and my teammates. I put that past me.”

Robinson, 6-foot-6 and 322 pounds, earned the starting left tackle spot as a freshman and started all 14 games in 2014. He started all 15 games as a sophomore and all 15 as a junior. Last season, he earned a spot on the All-SEC first-team, was an unanimous All-American and won the Outland Trophy Award, which goes to the nation’s top lineman.

He elected to leave school with a season of eligibility left.

Robinson said he would not fight a position change.

“I’m open to whatever a team needs,” Robinson said. “If a team needs me to play right tackle or guard, I feel like that doesn’t do anything but add value ultimately if you can play more than one position.”

“I played a little right tackle in high school. If that’s what they ask of me, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Robinson has never played guard.

Lamp was a two-star recruit coming out of high school and was overlooked by bigger programs. He picked Western Kentucky over Ohio, New Mexico and Florida Atlantic.

He made 51 starts for the Hilltoppers, 48 at left tackle and three at right guard.

Lamb is agile and plenty strong. He lifted 225 pounds 34 times at the scouting combine. He had a stellar performance against Alabama that impressed several NFL scouts.

Lamp, who’s had several meetings with the Falcons during the pre-draft process, said he could play in their outside zone blocking scheme.

Feeney was a three-star recruit and picked Indiana over Illinois and Western Michigan. He started 12 games at right guard as a freshman. He suffered a foot injury and took a medical redshirt in 2013.

Feeney returned in 2014 and started all 12 games at right guard. In 2015, he was named all-Big Ten and last season he started only nine games after suffering a concussion.

“Yeah, I mean I guess it was a little scary,” Feeney said about missing time because of the concussion. “But it’s just like another injury. You’ve got to nurse it back to health and get back on the field as quick as you can.”

Feeney doesn’t believe that he has a long-term health issue.

Feeney helped to clear the way for now-Falcons running back Tevin Coleman to rush for more than 2,000 yards in 2014. Also, over his four years, Feeney gave up just four sacks.

He performed well in the Senior Bowl.

“Yeah, it was huge, going to the Senior Bowl,” Feeney said. “It definitely helped me prepare (for the combine). It’s almost the same stuff; just more intense now. You have more meetings with teams, coaches, position coaches and stuff like that. Being able to go to the Senior Bowl and get a taste of it before it actually happened, I think that was a big advantage.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

10 things we learned about the Falcons this offseason
10 things we learned about the Falcons this offseason

Shortly after releasing the team for the summer, Falcons coach Dan Quinn and team officials went to Washington, D.C. to visits to various military related places. It was a busy and compacted offseason for the Falcons, who reached the Super Bowl for just the second time in franchise history. After suffering the most devastating loss in the history of...
Julio Jones is focus of Pat Dye Jr.-Jimmy Sexton lawsuit
Julio Jones is focus of Pat Dye Jr.-Jimmy Sexton lawsuit

Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones is the center of a lawsuit between Pat Dye Jr. and Jimmy Sexton, according to AL.com. It’s possible, if the civil suit continues into the fall, that Jones may be called to a disposition to give his testimony during the season. Dye, of Atlanta, and Sexton, of Memphis, merged firms in 2010...
Falcons not hosting ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage
Falcons not hosting ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage

For the first time in 11 seasons, the Falcons will not hold the wildly successful ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage during training camp, the team announced on Wednesday. The Falcons, the defending NFC champions, will report for training camp on Wednesday, July 26. The team has gone into the community for a scrimmage at local high schools...
Allen: Defense ‘is going to be amazing’
Allen: Defense ‘is going to be amazing’

Kicked to the curb just three years ago, Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen has successfully made the transition from cornerback to free safety and is now an entrenched NFL starter. He played 1,101 defensive snaps (99.1 percent), most on the team last season, in just his second year at free safety. Drafted as a cornerback in the fifth-round of the 2014...
Falcons report for training camp on July 26
Falcons report for training camp on July 26

The defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons will report for training camp on July 26, the team announced on Wednesday. Training camp will be held at the team’s facilities in Flowery Branch for the 13th consecutive season. Selected practices will be open to the public, but there is not a “Friday Night Lights” event listed. The team...
More Stories