With no pick in the first round, the Falcons waited until pick No. 55 to make their first selection of the draft. Their patience was rewarded.
They found good value, spending their late-second-round pick on Wisconsin’s Peter Konz, who PFW projected as a late first-round pick.
Over the past two seasons, Konz was the starting center for a school with a rich tradition of producing NFL-caliber offensive-line talent. He can contribute readily. The Falcons intend to use him primarily at guard in 2012, and he could get a chance to compete for the starting job at right guard against Vince Manuwai. C Todd McClure, who signed a one-year deal this offseason, is still serviceable, even after 13 seasons, but the Falcons now have a very natural replacement for him if McClure retires or moves when his contract expires after this season.
Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff took heat for trading up to draft WR Julio Jones sixth overall last year. Some called it mortgaging the future. Yet, while Atlanta parted with its first-round pick in this year’s draft to be in position to draft Jones one year ago, the presumed fate of not having a chance to land a high-impact player in 2012 was never realized. The Falcons still drafted a late-first-round-caliber talent in '12.
Dimitroff's trade is looking even better than it did one year ago — and I was a big fan of it then.