With the pick, Atlanta not only took care of an immediate need by addressing the offensive line, but also arguably selected the best player available on the board at the time.
Konz, the consensus top-ranked center in this year’s draft, was projected to go in the first round.
At 6-foot-5, 314 pounds, Konz is a massive prospect who is as stable a pass protector as he is an aggressive run-blocker. With quick feet, long arms and a mean streak, Konz will be a welcome addition to a struggling offensive line.
Durability was the biggest concern for the junior, who has missed time in each of his past three seasons with the Badgers due to various injuries. Just last year, he missed the last three games of his college career with an ankle injury.
The pick marks the first time general manager Thomas Dimitroff has drafted from the Big Ten since joining the Falcons in 2008. He couldn’t have picked a better school-position combination: Wisconsin is historically known for producing some of the best linemen in the NFL.
While Konz has the experience and ability to immediately step into a starting job at the next level, he’ll have to challenge long-time Falcons center Todd McClure for the spot.
Whether he’s able to have an instant impact as a rookie is left to be seen, but there’s no doubt the Atlanta Falcons will have their center of the future if he’s able to stay healthy.