Atlanta Falcons: Who is the Answer at Left Guard?

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Sep 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) celebrates a touchdown with center Peter Konz (66) in the first half against the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Konz

Peter Konz was widely regarded as the best center in the 2012 draft class, and the Falcons were looking for someone to groom behind long-time veteran Todd McClure. He was selected in the second round that year by Atlanta, with the hope that he could take over the center position in the near future.

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He filled in at right guard before McClure retired following the 2012 season, forcing Konz into the spotlight as the Falcons’ starting center in 2013. Unfortunately for Konz, Matt Ryan, and Falcons fans everywhere, he did not find much success. Konz has struggled with his functional strength, a concern coming out of college, and has so far failed to make an impact at the NFL level at either the center or guard position.

However, Konz is still young and it’s likely the Falcons will allow him to play out his rookie contract before cutting him loose. He had talent coming out of Wisconsin, and perhaps he could better take advantage of his athleticism (and downplay his strength issues) with the change to the zone blocking scheme.

Unlike Baker, Konz has spent time at the guard position in the NFL, playing in sixteen games and starting ten during the 2012 season. He wasn’t particularly good in his time as a right guard, but he could fare better at the more “finesse” left guard position.

While he’s certainly not the ideal candidate to take over the starting LG role, Konz has experience at the position and could potentially develop further. He’ll have to compete hard and win the job in camp, but there is talent there if he can finally put it all together.

Let’s move on to another player that was thrust into starting duties early on, but fared markedly better.

Next: James Stone