I’m counting down the top 40 players on the Atlanta Falcons, and let’s continue with 30th-ranked player: offensive lineman Peter Konz.
To read the methodology I devised to rank the Falcons players, click here.
Total Score: 47/100
Last year’s rank: 16
Player Grade: 47/100
Teams he is starter: 4 out of 32
Teams he is best position player: 4 out of 32
Teams he is role player: 24 out of 32
Peak-Year Bonus: +4
Positional Bonus: +3
Peter Konz blew a fantastic opportunity last year to become the team’s long-term starter at center. Now he’s behind the eight ball heading into 2014, as he will be the backup behind Joe Hawley.
While there will be a competition between the two, Konz would have to play exceptionally well or Hawley would have to struggle mightily for Konz to leapfrog him on the depth chart.
Konz struggled last year thanks to a litany of issues including poor footwork, hand usage and an utter lack of an aggressive edge in his play. The Falcons are hopeful that new offensive line coach Mike Tice can help address some of these issues to help salvage Konz’s career. Because at this point, his career is on the brink.
While Konz’s high draft status as a former second-round pick should keep his roster spot relatively safe this year, beyond this year remains to be seen. That will largely depend on what if any improvements Konz can make this season, as well as whether or not Hawley plays well. If Hawley can play well and increase the gap between him and Konz by year’s end, it could result in Konz being firmly on the roster bubble heading into the 2015 season.
But that is still a ways away, and for the time being Konz needs to be focused on this summer and season. Reports indicate that Konz has been “living” in the weight room this offseason, strong indications that he’s not taking his roster status for granted. That’s an important first step for Konz to make to salvage his career, but the rest will have to be proven on the field.
Konz will likely serve as the team’s top interior backup, due to his ability to play both center and guard. He’s struggled mightily at the latter position when asked to play there. That’s why players like Mike Johnson and Harland Gunn will likely receive reps at center this summer, as if either perform well there, it could cost Konz his status as their preferred option as a swing center/guard.