Somebody pinch me because I must be dreaming, April has come at last! Are you guys as excited as I am?
For the next few weeks leading up to draft day I am going to breakdown a player a day that I believe the Ravens should/will target. Today I am taking a closer look at Wisconsin center Peter Konz.
Peter Konz is one of the top rated interior lineman in the draft this year and has probably been linked to the Ravens in mock drafts more than any other player.
What He Does Well
Konz is an elite run blocker. Playing in the Wisconsin offense Konz was asked to block for runs on about 85% of plays in arguably the most run heavy offense in football. Konz has a nice skill set for shedding defenders to get to the second level blocks and demonstrates elite level footwork. Konz has solid pass protection ability, but will need to improve to be an elite pass protector in the NFL. Konz has Elite size for an interior lineman standing at 6’5″ 315lbs. Konz has good versatility and if drafted by the Ravens would almost certainly play at LG during his rookie year unless matt birk were to get injured. Konz is also one of the highest character players in the draft. He is a guy that fans really love to love and is, by all accounts, a great person and locker-room presence.
Where He Needs Improvement
Konz has a major major problem with injuries. His knees are banged up and have a great deal of age on them. he has had 2 knee surgeries and 1 ankle surgery and has never finished a full season of football, highschool included. Konz has a tendency to rely on Kevin Zeitler(his LG at Wisconsin) way to much, to the point that i personally believe that Konz gets credit for Zeitlers ability and production on some plays. Konz has a tendency to get lost when he is not engaged immediately after the snap of the ball and tends to meander about in the pocket and get caught out of position. T0o many times Konz will struggle in pass protection and get bailed out by one of his fellow lineman. I can talk around in circles for a long time but it really boils down to two things. 1. Konz has the worst injury record of any high round interior lineman in recent memory. And 2. Is Konz a product of a fantastic offensive line group at Wisconsin or he is good all by himself?
How I See It
Go ahead and skip forward to the 32 second mark. Konz is normally an elite run blocker but on this play he gets caught up in the pile of the line and ends up failing his assignment and the play results in no gain.
Go to the 55 second mark, this is one of his better plays of the day. Konz doesnt engage in many 1-on-1 blocking assignments but he gets one here and plays it perfectly on the roll out.
go to the 2:30 mark, this is a really good run play for konz, he gets a block right off the line and pushes the DT out of the play, disengages quickly and gets to the next level and makes another nice block. the play wasnt big but his blocking was good.
If you go to the 3:10 mark you can see an example of him losing his block and getting saved by Kevin Zeitler. Konz gets overwhelmed quickly due to a poor drop and Zeitler is able to divert the defender. it wouldnt be a big deal if this were a rare occurrence because that is part of the nature of the offensive line. but the fact that this happens 8-10 times in every game tape I’ve ever watched of Konz is concerning to me.
go to the 4:35 mark. this is a rough play. Konz initially makes a good block but after the play breaks down he gets completely lost and allows one defender to go right past him on either side of his body, whie he “blocks” a player that had abandoned the pass rush and was trying to drop a few yards in to coverage.
Konz scares me as a first rounder. His injury history is extremely concerning and makes him to risky for a first round grade. That said, i am not even sure Konz will last 28 picks to get to the Ravens because so many teams in the 18-26 range need a center. Some team is going to reach for Konz and in three years after he has missed 15 games and had 2 surgeries that team will regret the decision. Konz is talented enough to warrant a gamble in the 8-25 range of the second round, but he has to many red flags for me to give him a first round grade. If the Ravens trade out of the first round I would support a Konz selection, but 29th is too high for the risk. I hate to be so hard on Konz, but i feel like i needed to play the devils advocate a bit because all anyone on the internet seems to be talking about is how great he is. the problem is that if he were that great he wouldn’t last 28 picks. Konz has elite talent, but he is one of the riskiest players in the draft.
Pro Player Comparison:
Talent comparison: Scott Wells, St. Lois Rams
Injury Comparison: Andre Smith, OT, Bengals