Peter Konz is the consensus No. 1 center in the 2012 NFL draft and ranks in the top 20 on my big board of overall prospects. This is extremely impressive considering how deep the draft is in regards to the top 50 players. It is also really impressive considering how talented the center class is this year.
This position has taken on an added importance since the NFL started shifting to a pass first league. Just think about what a center is tasked with doing. He needs to call the blocking at the line, snap the ball to the quarterback and then get into his stance to block.
It is one of the hardest positions to play.
All that said, Konz is pretty much as good of a center prospect that you will come across and should be a perennial Pro Bowl performer right out of the gate.
This article is going to focus on five different strengths and weaknesses of his game as they relate to his ability to transition to the National Football League.
Pull blocking is what separates great centers from good centers. The former have the ability to dominate a great deal in the run game, consistently opening up lanes on the outside for their running backs.
Peter Konz also has this ability. He was the primary reasons that Wisconsin has had one of the best running games in college football over the course of the last few seasons.
Peter Konz has been dealing with an ankle injury over the course of the last season, which might cause his draft stock to fall a little bit.
This hasn't been a prolonged thing, so there isn't a major reason for NFL front offices to worry about it a great deal. Still, a 320-pound player holding that type of weight with an ankle injury could be cause for alarm.
What separates Peter Konz from the rest of the draft class at the center position is the fact that he is equally as good in run blocking as he is in terms of pass blocking.
Konz has the ability to dominate in the trenches at the point of contact, consistently opening up gaps for the running back. Moreover, he is a stable pass protecting presence.
The latter is going to come in handy in the National Football League, where there are an ample amount of interior pass-rush threats along the defensive line.
This might have somewhat to do with his size, but Peter Konz does tend to get too upright when getting into his stance at times. It isn't a big deal because he makes a constant effort to focus on this shortcoming and should improve on it with a little more seasoning.
However, there still has to be some worry about this as it relates to his fundamentals in the blocking game as a rookie.
Peter Konz gets into his stance nearly right at the time that he snaps the ball. It is one heck of a talent that he possesses and something that he will be among the top centers in the league at immediately out of the gate.
This sets the offense up with consistent blocking in the trenches and forces the defense to attempt to get to the quarterback on the outside, rather then attempting to do so inside.
His quickness also comes into play when pull blocking for running backs on outside sweeps. You will see what I am talking about to an extent in the embedded video.