The Falcons have to justify the use of all of their 1st and 2nd round picks, by making that player a starter. Someone might point out that William Moore did not start as a rookie, but the counter of course that in all likelihood Moore would have started had he not been injured in 2009. But he still remains the lone exception among the team's 5 1st and 2 2nds (not counting Konz) that has not started immediately.
The Falcons are a needs-based drafting team, and seem to be of a mindset that a player is only worth drafting in the 1st or 2nd round unless he's going to start right away. Starting in the 3rd round, they seem willing to develop guys, but in the vast majority of cases, every single of them if not expected to start right away, is expected to start by his 2nd season. While some like Mike Johnson have failed to do so, it's been fairly clear that the Falcons intention was that from the get-go.
Now that Manuwai is out of the way, I see absolutely no reason why Konz won't start this year over Reynolds at RG.
And in the case of Holmes, he'll almost certainly be starting next year, or at least the team will approach their off-season with the mindset that he'll be starting on opening day in 2013.
The big question for me about the future of the Falcons offensive line is Hawley, Johnson, Jackson, and to a lesser extent Reynolds. Which of those guys will play at a high enough level this summer and/or this season to ostensibly fill in for McClure next year, meaning Hawley steps in directly at C and Konz stays at RG, or one of those guards steps up and moves Konz to C.
The minute the Falcons drafted Konz and said he would play RG immediately IMO took Manuwai's chances of making the roster from 80% to 50%.
The cynical aspect of me (which is a very big part of me
) knows this is exactly what the Falcons do, and which I have been complaining about for much of this off-season. Despite a team that talks a lot of about bolstering competition, they have an odd habit of removing that competition, especailly when it comes to getting reps and PT for early round picks.
Sometimes it seems like rather than doing what is best for the team in terms of getting the best 53 guys on the field, sometimes I think they are more about trying to earn high grades from their drafts by getting the most amount of starts for their respective rookie classes, even if that means you're going to be weaker at a handful of positions on your roster...