Harvey Dahl is a top right guard and the Falcons have missed him.
Harvey Dahl is a top-six talent in the NFL at right guard according to Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller. Miller also rated Dahl's replacements, Garrett Reynolds and Joe Hawley, 21st and 19th in the NFL at right guard respectively.
Dropping down 13 to 15 spots in one area on the line is a large decrease in not just talent but also strength and ability. With the loss of Dahl's tenacity, the Falcons went from a team that was almost guaranteed to convert all third- and fourth-and-shorts in 2010 to a team that struggled with those in 2011 and lost multiple important games due to an inability to convert.
Getting a new Harvey Dahl was easily the Falcons' top priority for the 2012 offseason, and they signed bruising guard Vince Manuwai in the offseason and also get back Mike Johnson from injury.
However, the real replacement will be Peter Konz.
Konz was a center at Wisconsin but has played guard and tackle. He was going to play guard for Wisconsin but was buried behind John Moffitt (a 2011 third-round pick), Kevin Zeitler (a 2012 first-round pick) and Kraig Urbik (a 2009 third-round pick) his redshirt year, so he decided to switch to center.
By switching to center, Konz earned not just playing time, but a team captain spot. He is known for a nasty attitude off the ball and his top-tier athleticism for his size. He was rated by many as the top center in the draft and a late first- to early second-round prospect.
“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.”
Also, according to a minicamp report, he has spent the vast majority of his snaps at right guard where he is expected to compete with Vince Manuwai and Mike Johnson. As of now, Konz has the best comparison to former starter Harvey Dahl.
Harvey Dahl was a 6'5", 305-pound ruffian with a nasty attitude, great intelligence and intense strength. Peter Konz is a 6'5", 315-pound ruffian with a nasty attitude, great intelligence, leadership qualities and intense strength.
Notice a trend here?
It looks like Peter Konz will be the Falcons' new Harvey Dahl, and Matt Ryan, Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff couldn't be happier.