Center doesn't promise to be a true position of strength for the Falcons in 2014, but it shouldn't be the terrifying liability it was for much of 2013, either. The Falcons will return the same two players who were on top of the depth chart last year, but with a better line around them, the performance level will hopefully improve.
The key for this team is that both options at the position are relatively young, and that they have taken pressure off Joter Hawkonz by adding Jon Asamoah and Jake Matthews.
Projected 2014 Center Depth Chart
I don't think James Stone is going to make this roster. If Konz hasn't made massive strides this offseason, though, he's got a shot at the practice squad and a role next season.
Hawley is widely considered the favorite and I'm not going to buck the trend here, even though I think Konz will be given a legitimate shot to compete for the job. Hawley's a hilarious flopper, yes, but he's also a technically sound center who stepped into the vacuum left by Peter Konz's awful play and delivered starting-caliber performance in the second half of the 2013 season. He's not the biggest center in the NFL, but he's strong enough and appears to have ironed out some of the kinks in his game that kept costing him a starting job before, and he's easily the favorite.
Konz, for his part, worked to get stronger this offseason, and the only way he's going to mount a serious challenge is if that work has paid off. I've maintained and continue to maintain that Konz has the ability to succeed and perhaps even thrive at the NFL level, but until he betters his technique and gains a lot of functional strength, there's no chance he'll be useful as more than a backup.
Project away, friends.