Peter Konz is going to be a starter in 2013. The dispute has been over where on the line he'll line up, pun intended.
Konz started 12 games as a rookie at right guard, largely getting overwhelmed in both pass blocking and run blocking situations before starting to come into his own late in the year. It's not a surprise that the talented rookie struggled, naturally, and it doesn't dampen my expectations for him one bit.
The question has been whether Konz will end up at right guard or center. He was drafted as a C/RG hybrid, depending on who you asked, but chiefly as a center. Now word comes that rumors around the league indicate he's going back to center this year, supplanting Todd McClure in the process. Nothing concrete yet, but perhaps a sign that the team is looking in that direction.
Some, including Bleacher Reporter columnist and Twitter friend of The Falcoholic Scott Carasik, have argued that the Falcons intend to keep Konz at right guard. While I can see the logic here—despite a largely mediocre rookie season, Konz has a ton of promise and right guard is an area of need—the Falcons drafted Konz to be their center of the future. There are more options for right guard than center on this roster, and Konz is clearly a natural center. This move makes a ton of sense to me, and it's one that I firmly believe will improve the offensive line.
This would mean that Todd McClure would either be gone or a backup, and I'm betting on the former. If he goes we will have an appropriate tribute for a man who has given so much to this franchise, but I'm willing to bet he'll land on his feet even if he doesn't retire. There are plenty of center-needy teams in the NFL today.
So that's how I expect this to shake out. The right guard battle remains up in the air, but I think Konz will lock down center for years to come.
I'll turn it over to all of you. How do you think this all shakes out?