Has good size and strength. Does a good job in a short-area and consistently wins there. Has quick hands and is able to get good hand placement as a run blocker. Does a good job getting position and gets leverage at the point of attack. Able to lock onto defender, redirect him. Can wall off defensive tackle to create alleys up the middle, and is able to get some push with good pop. Wins in short-yardage. Is a good drive blocker because he keeps his feet moving upon contact. Plays with good base and rarely gives too much ground to the power rusher. Can pull and is an effective blocker in space. Able to find moving targets when blocking on the second level or pulling outside. Does a good job squaring up the linebacker on the second level. An effective cut blocker downfield as well.
Is too much of a waist-bender at times that tends to get away with it because he works so much in a phone booth. Gets overextended at times and will whiff on blocks. Can give some ground to the nose tackle and loses balance at times when trying to get position. Not the smoothest athlete when moving in space and will miss some assignments when he's forced to adjust to a moving target. Is not a guy that is going to be able to get a ton of push and move the pile. Durability has been a concern.
Konz is the anchor of the WIsconsin offensive line, and he's the guy that they love to run behind because he is such a consistent and effective run blocker. He has the size and strength of a guard, and is a smart and experienced player. He's not a guy that just dominates at the point of attack and blows guys several yards off the ball, but he is consistently able to get position and create space for the running back. The biggest issue for him has been durability at the college level, missing significant time in all three years he played.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/1) vs. UNLV: 5 key blocks; Pull: 3/4
(10/1) vs. Nebraska: 3 key blocks, 0.5 pressure; Pull: 3/3, Downfield: 3/4; Screen: 0/1; Cut: 1/1
(1/2) vs. Oregon:
2011: 11/11, center
2010: 11/11, center
2009: 10/9, center
- missed 3 games with a dislocated ankle in 2011
- missed 2 games in 2010 with sprained ankle
- missed 2 games in 2009 with blood clots in his lungs
Konz should be able to translate relatively quickly in the NFL. He's the type of center that teams in the AFC in particular should target because he has the size and strength to match up with the big, powerful nose tackles that litter that conference. I won't say that he's on the same plane as players like Nick Mangold and Matt Birk because I think both of those players are a bit more athletic than Konz, but it would not surprise me if a few years down the line he is considered one of the better centers in the league. The player I would compare him to is more of an Eric Wood-type of guy that should develop into a good NFL center, but I'm not convinced he'll be a great one like an Alex Mack. To be that caliber a player, I think you need to be a bit more athletic than Konz is. But like Wood, I think Konz could also play some guard in the pros as well. I don't see that being his long-term position, but if a team already has an established veteran at center, you can probably plug him at guard and then a few years down the line flip him to center when that veteran moves on or retires. I think he was aided at Wisconsin from playing a lot in a short-area with their power running game, and if he goes to a team that is going to ask him to play more in space, he could get exposed more. Not to any degree where he'll be a bad football player, but just may not be the guy that consistently wins. But he's a guy that I don't think is going to dominate guys like Vince Wilfork or Haloti Ngata, but he certainly will compete with them and should be effective down the road. In a few years he should be a guy that can anchor one of the better run-blocking teams in the league in a similar fashion to Nick Mangold or Shaun O'Hara was in New York during his heyday.
Eric Wood, Bills.
Konz would be a very good pickup for the Falcons because of his ability to step in immediately and be a starter. He would most certainly win an open competition with Hawley simply because he has more upside. Hawley isn't particularly big, and his hand use isn't fully developed which means he's probably going to take a few years of growing pains before he starts to develop into the center he has the potential to be. Konz may not be a Pro Bowler as a rookie, but he should be pretty solid in his first year, and potentially grow into one of the better centers in the NFC, if not the league by the time his second or third year rolls around. He'll fit nicely in Atlanta because he's a physical run blocker like Mike Smith prefers, and while he's not the best pass protector in the league, he's more than capable of getting the job done for the Falcons needs.
Konz would not be a reach if a team at the end of the first round were to take him. He would be a much better value in the early to mid-second round range because he's not an elite center prospect, but he's a relatively safe guy that should be a good pro if not a great pro.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Pass Blocking: 7.0
Run Blocking: 9.0
Mean Streak: 8.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.