Falcons Draft 2012: Day 2 O-Line Help

After sitting out of 1st round action Thursday night, the Falcons went to work Friday, hell bent on improving their offensive line.

The Falcons pulled in Wisconsin center Peter Konz with their 2nd round pick (55 overall). Not knowing jack about Big 10 football, except that their mommas beef up their boys, I’m not sure what to expect from Konz. Knowing that longtime center Todd McClure has 1-2 years left in the tank, this seems like an insurance move for the future. Can Konz help now?

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is Konz can play both guard and center,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We have him listed as a guard-center.”

Konz, 6-foot-5 and 314 pounds, was projected to go late in the first round by most draft analysts. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper had him rated as the top center in the draft.

“He has no peers in this draft,” Kiper said.

So Konz is a value pick; top center in the draft. Is he injury prone?

Not to say that the 23rd pick of Round 2 isn’t be a big man. He’s Peter Konz, who played center at Wisconsin but who was labeled a guard by the Falcons. He’s 6-foot-5. He weighs 314 pounds. He missed games in all three of his college seasons: Once with blood clots in each lung, twice with sprained ankles. For those holding memories of Peria Jerry, the Falcons’ No. 1 pick of 2009 who’d been injured at Ole Miss and whose NFL career hasn’t taken flight, you have your quibble.

On the plus side: Konz is a value pick who could help fill a crying need. He was ranked the draft’s best center. (Sorry, Ben Jones.) ESPN ranked Konz the 41st-best player available; NFL Draft Scout 300 slotted him 37th. Both Pete Prisco and Clark Judge of CBS Sports had him going in Round 1. When you’re sitting at 55, that’s not a bad find. And it’s better still when you recall the three failed fourth-and-1’s that defined the Falcons’ 2011 season.

If Konz adds depth this year, and can fill in at center and guard, while taking over for McClure next year, this will turn out to be a great pick.

Lamar Holmes (T – Southern Mississippi)
After trading back a few spots, the Falcons landed tackle Lamar Holmes in the third round with the 91 overall pick. For their troubles, Baltimore sent ATL a 5th round pick (No. 164, 29th of the round).

Holmes looks more like a project, but if he brings some nasty aggressiveness that was sorely lacking last year, maybe he will turn out to be the surprise pick of the draft. One can always dream, right?

Go Falcons!


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