While Mike Smith seemed glowing of Garrett Reynolds, the writing is on the wall for Peter Konz to assume the starting right guard position. It’s interesting to see how Smith talks about Reynolds as opposed to Sam Baker. Smith has gone out of his way over the past few months to praise Baker and talk about how confident the team is in him. The writing suggests that as long as Baker stays healthy, the left tackle position belongs to him. Note Smith talks about Baker’s potential to impact the team long-term. And while Reynolds has reportedly improved, it’s interesting that Smith appended his statements about Reynolds being the starter with the words “right now.” Suggesting that the competition is much more open and that the Falcons aren’t ready to commit to Reynolds beyond these opening weeks of training camp.
The Falcons used a high pick on Konz, and that gives him a strong probability that he will wind up the opening day starter at right guard. All five of the Falcons first round picks started on Day One, and had William Moore not been injured during his rookie camp, it’s likely he would have joined Curtis Lofton to make all of their second round picks to be opening day starters.
The Falcons won’t simply hand the job to Konz. He is playing guard for the first time in his career, and it will take time to adjust to it. But if Konz does show growth over the course of the next few weeks, don’t be surprised if Konz is named the starter by the third preseason game against the Dolphins.