Matthew Bergeron Set to Flourish in Second Year as Falcons’ Starting Left Guard

The Atlanta Falcons made a significant move in 2023 by drafting Matthew Bergeron in the second round, hoping to solidify their offensive line. Bergeron, an impressive left tackle from Syracuse, was expected to transition to left guard and compete with Matt Hennessy for the starting job. However, an injury sidelined Hennessy, allowing Bergeron to seize the opportunity and establish himself as the starting left guard.

In his rookie season, Bergeron showcased both promise and growing pains. He displayed impressive blocks and strength, validating the Falcons’ decision to draft him. However, there were instances where he struggled and faced challenges on the field. While these growing pains are typical for rookies, it is crucial for Bergeron not to let them define his career.

Bergeron’s availability was a key asset for the Falcons in 2023. He played 100% of the offensive snaps in 16 games and nearly every snap in the remaining game. His durability was unmatched among the Falcons’ offensive linemen, allowing the team to avoid constant rotations within the line.

Pro Football Focus ranked Bergeron 71st in pass blocking and 51st in run blocking among NFL guards in his rookie season. While this puts him in the bottom tier of starting guards, it is important to note that he successfully transitioned from tackle to guard with relative ease compared to his teammate Jalen Mayfield. Bergeron’s performances varied throughout the season, showing glimpses of his talent but also facing challenges in pass protection and run blocking.

Looking ahead to 2024, Bergeron is guaranteed the starting left guard spot and will benefit from his previous year of experience. At just 23 years old, he possesses the necessary attributes to thrive long-term, including strength, quick footwork, and solid blocking skills. The Falcons have high hopes for Bergeron’s growth and development in the upcoming season.

While it remains a concern whether he can take a significant leap forward, there is confidence in Bergeron’s potential. The Falcons should have capable reserve guards as insurance, but Bergeron’s rocky rookie season is a common occurrence for players transitioning from college to the professional level. Anticipated improvements in his run blocking and pass protection skills will contribute to an enhanced rushing attack and better quarterback protection.

In conclusion, Matthew Bergeron is poised to transform his uneven rookie year into a successful sophomore season as the Falcons’ starting left guard. With his talent and room for growth, he has a bright future ahead and is expected to make significant strides in 2024.

FAQ:

1. Who is Matthew Bergeron?
Matthew Bergeron is a left guard for the Atlanta Falcons, drafted in the second round in 2023.

2. What position did Bergeron play in college?
Bergeron played as a left tackle for Syracuse in college.

3. How did Bergeron become the starting left guard for the Falcons?
Bergeron became the starting left guard due to Matt Hennessy’s injury, which sidelined him.

4. How did Bergeron perform in his rookie season?
Bergeron showed both promise and growing pains in his rookie season. He had impressive blocks and strength but faced challenges on the field.

5. Was Bergeron durable throughout the season?
Yes, Bergeron played 100% of the offensive snaps in 16 games and nearly every snap in the remaining game, showcasing his durability.

6. How did Bergeron’s rankings compare to other NFL guards?
According to Pro Football Focus, Bergeron was ranked 71st in pass blocking and 51st in run blocking among NFL guards in his rookie season.

7. What can be expected from Bergeron in the upcoming season?
Bergeron is expected to retain his starting left guard position in the upcoming season, benefitting from his previous year of experience. The Falcons have high hopes for his growth and development.

8. Are there any concerns about Bergeron’s performance?
While there are concerns about whether Bergeron can take a significant leap forward, it is common for players to face challenges in their rookie season.

9. How will Bergeron’s improvement impact the team?
Anticipated improvements in Bergeron’s run blocking and pass protection skills will contribute to an enhanced rushing attack and better quarterback protection.

10. What is the outlook for Bergeron’s future?
With his talent and room for growth, Bergeron has a bright future ahead and is expected to make significant strides in the upcoming season as the Falcons’ starting left guard.

Definitions:
– Left tackle: The offensive player who occupies the position on the left end of the offensive line.
– Left guard: The offensive player who occupies the position adjacent to the left tackle on the offensive line.
– Pass blocking: The technique used by offensive linemen to protect the quarterback from defensive players attempting to sack or pressure the quarterback.
– Run blocking: The technique used by offensive linemen to create openings and clear paths for running backs to gain yards during a running play.

Related Links:
atlantafalcons.com (The official website of the Atlanta Falcons)