04/30/2012 - The right guard position was problematic as Garrett Reynolds opened the season as the starter after beating out Mike Johnson. When Reynolds struggled, Hawley took over at right guard. In the offseason, the Falcons signed guard Vincent Manuwai in free agency. Konz, 6-5 and 314 pounds, was projected to go late in the first round by most draft analysts. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper had him rated as the top center in the draft. "He has no peers in this draft," Kiper said. Konz, who lifted 225 pounds just 18 times at the NFL Scouting Combine, needs to improve his upper-body strength. He should be able to lift that weight 25 times. He said he lifted 225 pounds 23 times at his Pro Day. He is considered quick and agile for his size. He could pull on sweeps and hit moving targets, which was considered a weakness of the line by former offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. The line's lack of mobility was cited when Mularkey was pressed about why he didn't call more screen passes last season. - The Sports Xchange
Konz (pronounced "Kahnz") is the dedicated type player coaches look for at center. He showed that and his high character when he made the decision to opt for the draft after his junior year.
Konz wrote a letter of explanation for Badger fans, telling them, among other things, that he crammed 18 units into the fall semester so he could graduate this spring and, oh yes, he was getting married.
Konz was equally accountable on the field, where his intensive off-field work was evident. His anticipation and alertness compensate for average quickness, so he still gets in position in time to take on defenders. Konz is more of a persistent, wall-off type of blocker than a physical mauler.
In order to start in 30 college games, he overcame several setbacks including blood clots in both lungs (2009), a severely sprained ankle (2010) and a dislocated left ankle that kept him out of three games last season, including the Big Ten Championship Game, before he returned to play in the 2012 Rose Bowl against Oregon.
Pass blocking: Possesses a solidly-built frame with a filled-out body and solid muscle definition. Naturally wide base off the snap. Does a nice job sinking his hips and playing with consistent pad level, sitting in his stance with steady balance. Shoots his hands into defenders with very good placement, flashing strong hands to sustain blocks for an extended period of time. Taller for the center position and will allow his upper body to get high at times. Understands blocking angles.
Run blocking: A physical run blocker with raw power and strength at the point of attack. Gets very good initial push off the snap. Does a nice job with body positioning, walling off defenders to seal run lanes. Not a quick-twitch mover and looks a tad uncoordinated in tight spaces.
Pulling/trapping: Athletic and mobile, blocking well in space and pulling towards either sideline. Shows natural instincts with a very good feel for the position, keeping his eyes elevated and always looking for someone to block.
Initial Quickness: Sets up quickly and gets into his stance in a flash. Stout and aggressive at the point of attack and is tough to move because he plays with such good leverage -- sticky blocker. Konz is a bit stiff in his core and struggles to quickly redirect. Not naturally explosive.
Downfield: Rangy blocker with the foot quickness to cover a lot of ground and easily get to the second level. Takes on defenders with toughness and aggression, looking to finish and dominate.
Intangibles: Intelligent with strong football character, working hard on and off the field. Has good starting experience with 30 career starts at center over the past three seasons. Offers some versatility with the skill-set to line up at other offensive line spots. Has strong durability concerns, missing time each of the past three seasons with various injuries -- missed three games towards the end of 2011, including the Big Ten Championship Game, with a left ankle injury.
-- Dane Brugler