Finishing off our series on interior lineman that will be looking for a new contract soon, we will be looking at another Atlanta Falcon. You might recall that yesterday we looked at offensive guard Justin Blalock, a great run blocker with above average pass blocking skills.
Today, let's take a look at his teammate, Harvey Dahl. Dahl comes in at #45 on the CBS top 50 free agents list and in about a week or so (hopefully) he will be looking to get paid.
Here's why the Arizona Cardinals may show some interest.
Harvey Dahl has been a consistent lineman for the Falcons since being picked up off of the San Francisco 49ers practice squad a few years back. Undrafted out of the University of Nevada in 2005, Dahl has been through Arlington, out west to the Bay Area and has finally found a home in Atlanta. He found a niche in Georgia and has been their starting right guard since 2008 next to fellow (also undrafted) teammate and free agent, Tyson Clabo.
Dahl missed five games due to an ankle injury in 2009, but he started every game in 2008 and in 2010. In terms of his stats from last season, Dahl allowed three sacks, four hits and 13 quarterback pressures on 706 pass snaps. His pressure rating was only 2.8%, .9 percent better than Justin Blalock's.
Here is the Scouts, Inc. info for Dahl:
In 2008 Dahl earned a starting job as a guard and has started the last 27 games he has played in, missing five games in 2009 with an ankle injury. He has excellent size with adequate initial quickness, agility and body control. He is not a natural knee bender and has to work to keep his pad level down to leverage blocks, but has enough mass and power to generally sustain and work the block. He can shuffle and adjust in a limited area but will struggle when isolated and in space. He knows how to use his hands to control and steer opponents.
You can see that he is very good from his numbers, but after reading the scouting reports on both Dahl and Blalock, it is also apparent why Blalock will be the more coveted player during free agency. Also, Dahl is 30 years old, while Justin Blalock is only 27, so youth will be a factor. Pete Prisco from CBS claims that Dahl's play dropped off last year, but seeing his pass blocking stats above, I would tend to disagree. However, he could be alluding to the run blocking/pulling portion to his game, to which I cannot disagree with considering the lack of times I watched Dahl play.
So should the Arizona Cardinals go get Harvey Dahl? He plays right guard much like current offensive lineman, Deuce Lutui, so making a transition to the left could be a big change for him given the shortened offseason (if Lutui is retained). He would be a very good signing and probably much more productive than most of the other free agent linemen in his pay range. The Falcons have three top tier offensive line free agents in Clabo, Blalock and Dahl, so here's to hoping that the Cardinals are able to poach one of them and get them to come to Glendale.
There are some many holes on our O-Line as it is, so signing the water boy might even help at this point.
Here's a potential starting lineup:
I say go and get him, but what do you think Cardinals fans? Should we go get Harvey Dahl?
Just FYI, I will have a poll up tomorrow to gauge which one of the interior offensive line free agents you like the most. Keep and eye out for that and cast your vote.
Stats provided by Pro Football Focus