The Atlanta Falcons entered the 2021 NFL Draft with no major holes on the offensive line, but many believed that the Falcons were crazy for passing on talents like Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater in favor of Kyle Pitts. Instead, the Falcons stayed patient until day three, where they selected Stanford center Drew Dalman.
In Drew Dalman, the Atlanta Falcons found a fantastic fit for their offense.
New head coach Arthur Smith will deploy a lot of split zone and inside zone runs, and while Dalman might fit best in an outside zone scheme, his movement skills and abilities should be exciting.
Dalman has excellent initial quicks out of his stance, and he does a great job getting “90 and 90”, turning defenders who penetrate away from the play and then working to the second level effectively. He does a great job sustaining blocks at the second level as well. Dalman is very cerebral and executes at a high level, always getting to his assignments. He also is great at establishing initial leverage quickly and keeping defensive linemen on their toes.
In pass protection, Dalman’s recognition skills and processing speed are excellent. He picks up stunts with ease and displays great control when passing off defenders. When he’s out of his stance quick, Dalman can maintain good control.
Dalman is a little undersized for the position, and bigger nose tackles might give him some trouble in pass protection. But when he’s in control, he can hang on and stay choppy with his feet to drop anchor.
The Atlanta Falcons did select Matt Hennessy to be their center, but there’s a chance that Dalman can steal the starting spot for him. The new coaching staff may prefer Dalman, which is a smart move, cause Dalman can flat out play and be a strong starter in the Falcons offense for a long time.