The question has finally been answered as to who the Falcons will take with their 2nd & 3rd round draft picks. Those picks were used to draft offensive linemen. More specifically, the Falcons drafted Center Peter Konz from Wisconsin, and Lamar Holmes from Southern Mississippi.
I think Konz is a very good player who will definitely help this offensive line. In his breakdown of the pick, the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said that Konz is a ‘plug and play offensive lineman’ and that he will start immediately for the Falcons. Even though Atlanta recently re-signed veteran C Todd McClure to a one-year contract, Konz clearly has health and youth on his side. He may not start immediately, and will probably learn a lot from spending the first few games of the season on the bench, but I wouldn’t be surprised one bit to see him start playing at C the entire second half of the season.
This also helps the guard position, because it means that Joe Hawley no longer has to try to work his way into the Center position. That means that Hawley can spend all his time learning to play the Right Guard position, and compete for the starting job there. Hawley will compete with Vince Manuwai, Garrett Reynolds, Mike Johnson and Andrew Jackson for the RG job. If none of them can hold down that job for a whole season, I think it would be a tremendous shame. There is a lot of talent competing there.
The second player that the Falcons drafted was Lamar Holmes. The Falcons traded back in the 3rd round with the Baltimore Ravens and picked up an additional 5th round pick. In Southern Miss’ Holmes, the Falcons have a giant player who is 6’6 325 lbs who played both left and right offensive tackle, but was better at LT. That is a position where the Falcons have a monumental need at. Holmes was brought in to compete with Sam Baker and Will Svitek for the starting LT job.
Holmes fills a need, but the decision to draft hims is slightly puzzling in my mind. According to my research, such that it is, Holmes is a very solid pass protector, but struggles in run blocking. The one thing that every single draft site said was that Holmes is VERY raw, meaning that he is not a polished player and will require some coaching up to get him to the level he needs to be at to crack the starting lineup protecting Matt Ryan’s blindside. I was surprised that the Falcons didn’t select Florida State’s Zebrie Sanders, a guy who I thought was a starting caliber LT who lasted into the 5th round. There must be a reason so many teams passed up on him so many times, but I’m clearly not privy to that information. Holmes is a developmental pick, but he could end up being a huge bargain for the Falcons if he even becomes a starting LT, let alone a pro-bowl caliber player. I guess Atlanta’s coaching staff saw something I didn’t, and that must be why they pay Thomas Dimitroff the big bucks to be the General Manager.
What are your thoughts on the drafting of Konz and Holmes?