William Vlachos may not be a celebrity in Georgia, but head one state west and he's a household name. The center from the University of Alabama has been the man in the middle on the Crimson Tide's offensive line for several years now, and has seen plenty of success during his tenure.
Todd McClure turns 35 next week, and with his need for a new contract looming, the Falcons might decide to look elsewhere this time around. McClure has been with Atlanta for a long time. It would be nice to see him officially retire in a Falcons' uniform. However, no matter how much we talk about how wonderful it would be to keep all of our favorite players around, it's not always plausible.
If the Falcons decide to venture elsewhere in regards to the center position, Vlachos could be a great late steal. He draws several comparisons to our guy now, and even if McClure is retained, it wouldn't hurt to have someone in preparation for the future. Take a jump and have a look at the center who has been a part of two National Championships for the Tide.
Vlachos' university profile shows just how much he's accomplished in college. He has seen better days than most of the prospects in this year's draft. He's a great leader, a hard worker and has a terrific knowledge of his craft. So, why is he projected as a seventh rounder, or even a potential undrafted free agent?
If you take a look at this stubby 6'1", 294 lb. center, you'll immediately realize some initial faults. He lacks size and ideally fits the label of short and stocky. Honestly, people probably wouldn't even believe he's a potential pro athlete if they just saw him out in public.
While he is undersized and not as athletically gifted as many other draft prospects, Vlachos makes up for his weaknesses with tenacity and drive. "Scrappy" is a word you'll often see in his scouting reports. He doesn't give up and always plays through the whistle, which Atlanta will like. He also receives constant praise for his mechanics and technique.
Now, go take a look at McClure's bio. He's listed as 6'1", 295 lbs., basically identical to Vlachos' description. McClure played for LSU, and after graduation he was selected by Atlanta in Round 7. Both went to SEC schools, and both will probably have something in common in regards to the NFL Draft once April is over.
The Falcons have been projected to take a center early on in some mock drafts, but it doesn't seem like that will be a top priority at this point. They do have Joe Hawley as a backup center, yet he was moved around a bit in 2011, and I'm not sure they're sold on him to take over for McClure, whenever that day comes.
No one is going to be blown away by William Vlachos, but we might be pleasantly surprised if he's given a chance to play here. Plus, even if they don't use their last pick on him, he could still be available afterwards. I like the guy and his potential, but I'll leave it up to you. What's your take on No. 73?